On Oct. 21, Pope Benedict XVI canonized seven saints, including Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint. The canonization Mass was held at the Vatican.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia, chairman of the of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on Native American Affairs, says that Kateri shows both the cost and rewards of discipleship: “She bore a great deal of suffering for her faith among her own people — but also to its fruitfulness. She reminds us that Jesus came for all people in every age, but especially for the lowly, whom God loves in a special way.”
In the seventeenth century, Blessed Kateri, born to a Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father in upstate New York, endured much hardship, illness, and persecution during her lifetime. She was baptized by a Jesuit missionary in 1676 at the age of 20 and died in Canada four years later.
The Vatican expected up to 4,000 pilgrims from more than a dozen United States dioceses and archdioceses to attend the canonization events, and the largest pilgrimages were organized by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and Tekakwitha Conference, and the dioceses of Syracuse and Albany in New York, and Honolulu, Hawaii.
To read the full story, including information on the other six saints, click here.
And for more information on all seven saints being canonized, click here.