Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sacred Heart to hold special Mass for ecology patroness

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha to be canonized this October
Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be declared Blessed, will be honoured with a special Mass this April 22, from 11:00am-12:30pm at Sacred Heart Parish (525 Campbell Ave., Vancouver). A lunch reception follows at Sacred Spirit Centre (the adjoining school). All are welcome.

Kateri (1656-1680) was a Catholic covert. After an outbreak of smallpox in New York state, she was partially blinded. By eighteen, she defied elders in her village and was baptized by a Jesuit missionary. Her baptism name, Kateri, is a translation of 'Catherine' into the Mohawk language.

While not formally educated, she became a teacher who tried to bring the Catholic religion to her people. Unfortunately, the smallpox that ravaged her as a child led to an early death at 24 years old.

However, her face was miraculously healed immediately after death, witnessed by many who kept a bedside vigil. Beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II; her canonization is scheduled for October 21, 2012.
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