St. Kateri Tekakwitha By DaNi Ardizzone, Anthony King, cole vercelli

Kateri was born in 1656 of an Algonquin mother and a Mohawk Chief in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon, in upstate New York.

When Kateri was 18 years of age, she began instructions in the Catholic Faith in secret. Kateri was ridiculed and scorned by villagers. Nearly two years after her baptism, in St. Peter’s Chapel at the present Kateri Shrine in Fonda, she escaped to the Mission of St. Francis Xavier, a settlement of Christian Natives in Canada. Kateri taught prayers to children and worked with the elderly and sick. She was known for her great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Cross of Jesus. People report that a few minutes after her death the pox marks on her face from smallpox disappeared, and that many healing miracles were later attributed to her presence. On January 3, 1943, Pope Pius XII declared her venerable, and she was beatified as Catherine Tekakwitha on June 22, 1980, by Pope John Paul II. On February 18, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI decreed that Tekakwitha be canonized.

Historical Context

  • 1661
  • Charles II is crowned King of England. Louis XIV begins personal rule as absolute monarch; starts to build Versailles.
  • 1664
  • British take New Amsterdam from the Dutch. English limit “Nonconformity” with reestablished Anglican Church. Isaac Newton's experiments with gravity.
  • 1665
  • Great Plague in London kills 75,000
  • 1689
  • Peter the Great becomes Czar of Russia

Kateri's Feast Day is April 17th because on this day Kateri passed away at the age of 24. Kateri Tekakwitha is the patron saint of ecology and ecologists, of the environment, environmentalism, environmentalists, exiles, orphans, the exiled, those ridiculed for their faith and for World Youth Day. She represents the courage it takes to stand up for your faith.

Interesting Fact: Tradition holds that Kateri's final words were. . ."Jesus, I love you", after which she embraced her creator for all eternity.

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