Monday, October 21, 2013

Let's celebrate the 'Lily of the Mohawks'

Today is the first anniversary of St. Kateri Tekakwitha's canonization
Illustration by: Deacon Lawrence Klimecki.
Last year, on Oct 21, Pope Benedict XVI canonized the fourth Native American to be venerated in the Roman Catholic Church.

St. Kateri is the patron saint of the environment and ecology, as is St. Francis of Assisi.

Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith pointed out the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha was, "a sign of how special a moment this is for our country and our Church in renewing and deepening the relationship and partnership with indigenous people."

St. Kateri became a Catholic as a teenager and was baptized at age 20. Although this resulted in having to endure the hostility of her tribe, she remained firm to her faith.

She dedicated her life to prayer, penitential practices, and care for the sick and aged.

On April 17, 1680, she died at the age of 24.

The Church declared her venerable in 1943, and Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1980.

Pilgrimages at the sites of shrines to Kateri, including one at her birth place at Auriesville, N.Y., continue today.

For an excerpt from a homily by Archbishop J. Miller, CSB, given at a special Mass in honour of Saint Kateri, visit The B.C. Catholic website.

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