Summer Saints – Kateri Tekakwitha

Saint Kateri was born in what is now New York state, in 1656.  Her father was a Mohawk warrior, and her mother was a Christian who died of smallpox when Kateri was four.  Kateri also got very sick, and even after she got well, her face was covered with scars and her eyesight was never very good again.  When Jesuit missionaries came to her tribe, they taught her about Jesus and Kateri asked them to baptize her.  No one else in the tribe became a Christian, and the others were very angry with Kateri after she was baptized.

Kateri went to live with a colony of Christians in Canada, and she was able to spend her days in prayer and caring for the sick and elderly.  She was very devoted to the Eucharist, and she was known for coming to the church every morning at 4:00 when it opened, and staying for hours.  She made crosses out of sticks and placed them in the woods to remind her to pray whenever she saw one.

Because she spent so much time and energy taking care of others, Kateri was never very healthy, and she got very sick and died at the age of 24.  Two priests and many other friends were with her, and moments after she died, they all saw her scars disappear, and her face became beautiful.  In 1980, Kateri became the first Native American to be beatified, and she will be officially canonized in October 2012, making her one of the most recent members of our family of saints!

Activity: Use twigs and thread to make small crosses, and leave them in your yard and house as little reminders of Jesus throughout the day.


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