Woman Saint of the Week: St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Yesterday was the feast day of one of our newly canonized local saints and I’m so embarrassed that I let it pass me by. 

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Just like Grover.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was Algonquin-Mohawk woman. At the tender age of 4, she narrowly survived a small-pox epidemic which killed the rest of her immediate family. The illness left scars that would remain for the rest of her life. She was raised by her extended family. She developed as a shy, modest young woman. She refused marriage, preferring to remain a virgin. 

At the age of 20, her life took another dramatic turn. She became a Christian and was baptized. The community that raised her rejected her, accusing her of sorcery. She moved to the Jesuit mission where she lived out the remainder of her short life. She got sick and died at the age of 24. According to many witnesses, as she took her last breath, all of her scars disappeared and she glowed with a heavenly light. This was taken as the first sign that she was a saint.

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Portrait of St. Kateri Tekakwitha by Fr. Claude Chauchetière, S.J.

Pray for us, St. Kateri Tekakwitha! Keep in mind particularly all converts who sacrificed for becoming Christian. 

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