Today, July 14th, is the feast day for Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. Blessed Kateri Teckakwitha is the first Native American to be declared a Blessed.
Feastday: July 14
Patron of the environment and ecology
1656 - April 17, 1680
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II
Kateri was born near the town of Auriesville, New York, in the year 1656, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She was four years old when her mother died of smallpox. The disease also attacked Kateri and transfigured her face. She was adopted by her two aunts and an uncle. Kateri became converted as a teenager. She was baptized at the age of twenty and incurred the great hostility of her tribe. Although she had to suffer greatly for her Faith, she remained firm in it. Kateri went to the new Christian colony of Indians in Canada. Here she lived a life dedicated to prayer, penitential practices, and care for the sick and aged. Every morning, even in bitterest winter, she stood before the chapel door until it opened at four and remained there until after the last Mass. She was devoted to the Eucharist and to Jesus Crucified. She died on April 17, 1680 at the age of twenty-four.
She is known as the "Lily of the Mohawks". Devotion to Kateri is responsible for establishing Native American ministries in Catholic Churches all over the United States and Canada. Kateri was declared venerable by the Catholic Church in 1943 and she was Beatified in 1980. Work is currently underway to have her Canonized by the Church. Hundreds of thousands have visited shrines to Kateri erected at both St. Francis Xavier and Caughnawaga and at her birth place at Auriesville, New York.
Blessed Kateri was a beautiful child, possessing the best features of both mother and father both native Americans. Blessed Kateri was baptized in Trois-Rivieres and lived with French settlers for a time.
A beautiful Four Directions Rosary Set has been created in honor of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. It is available with the sponsorship of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.