Monday, December 19, 2011

Vatican confirms Canadian's miracle

Blessed Tekakwitha to be canonized 

Pope Benedict XVI has recognized the miracles of Kateri Tekakwitha, setting her up to become the first aboriginal saint in North America.

The Vatican announced Monday, that a miracle attributed to her has been confirmed, though they don't say which miracle was confirmed.

She died at the age of 24 in 1680 and is entombed inside the St. Francis-Xavier Church in Kahnawake, a Mohawk community near Montreal. It is said that her face was scarred from a smallpox outbreak that also killed her immediate family. However, eyewitnesses say her scarred face cleared after her death.

Historian Allan Greer from McGill University says Tekakwitha has long been considered an unofficial saint by her supporters in the Americas.

"It's very important for many indigenous Catholic people to have a saint that is their saint," Greer says. She practised a "heroic Catholicism but remained Mohawk in her language and culture. She takes a European religion but remains Mohawk at the same time."

A date for the canonization has not yet been set.

See The B.C. Catholic for Canadian reaction to Tekakwitha canonization.

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