St. Francis church in the snow in February

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Photo of St. Kateri TekakwithaSaint Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680)

St. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) is the first Native American saint recognized by the Catholic Church. When Kateri was four years old her family died in a smallpox out-break and she was left scarred and par-tially blinded. She was left to be raised by her uncle, the chief of a Mohwak clan. When Kateri was 11 she met Jesuit mis-sionaries and became passionate about Christianity. She was baptized when she was 20 against the wishes of her uncle. After her baptism Kateri was ostracized from her tribe. She moved to a Christian native community when it was clear her life was in danger. She was always known for her steadfast devotion to the faith. When Kateri died her scarred face was miraculously healed. Her feast day is July 14th and she is the patron saint of the environment and ecology.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, may your love for Jesus and Mary inspire in us words and deeds of friendship, of forgiveness and of reconciliation. Pray that God will give us the courage, the bold-ness, and the strength to build a world of justice and peace among ourselves and among all nations. Help us as you did to encounter the Creator God present in the very depths of nature, and so become witnesses of life.

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