(Image found on Google image search)
Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656, in what is now present day New York. She was the daughter of a Mohawk man and a Algonquin woman, who was a Catholic.
When Kateri was very young, her brother and parents caught smallpox and died. Kateri caught it as well, but lived. But from the smallpox, she had scars on her face and poor eyesight from the disease. She was adopted by her uncle. When she was 11, Kateri met some Jesuits, but her uncle didn’t want her to have any contact with them as he did not want her to convert.
Kateri eventually converted at age 20 and was shunned for her beliefs. Kateri put others before herself and in doing so, she lived a hard life. At age 24 she died and it is said her dying words were “I love you Jesus!”.
It is also said that a miracle occurred after she took her last breath. After having smallpox at a young age, she lived with scars on her face. When she passed, the scars on her face vanished. She died in April, 1680.
Kateri was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II. But to become a Saint, a person has to have at least two, or three miracles occur that can be proven. The final miracle that has brought Kateri into Sainthood happened in 2006, when a young boy had a severe flesh-eating bacterium. The surgery that was done on the boy didn’t stop it and the doctors said he would likely die. The boy was half Lummi Indian and the parents prayed to Kateri Tekakwitha, as well as having friends and family pray. A Catholic nun had visited the boy and brought a relic of Kateri along, passing it against the boy’s body as she and the parents prayed.
The next day, the infection had stopped progressing. December 19, 2011 Pope Benedict XVI approved the miracle and announced that Kateri would be canonized a Saint. Today Kateri Tekakwitha will become a Saint, the first Native American Saint and I think it is long overdue.
I have prayed to Kateri and she has answered my prayers. I’ve also had an experience with her, but I’d rather keep it to myself. I just think she is amazing and she definitely deserves Sainthood.