Wednesday, July 14, 2021
July 14 is the feast day of St. Kateri Tekakwitha , the first Native American saint to be canonized. She is the patron saint of ecology, environmentalism, those who have lost their parents, people in exile, and Native Americans.
Kateri’s mother was a Christian. When she was about 4 years old, a smallpox outbreak in her village took the lives of her parents and scarred her face and eyes. Kateri was instructed in the Catholic faith by Jesuits and was baptized as a teenager.
She refused to marry and consecrated herself to Jesus. Her attempts to practice her faith were resisted by her relatives and leaders in the tribe but Kateri persisted despite the many obstacles which were placed in her path and the hostility of her family. She later moved to another village about 200 miles away where she lived in a Christian community. She died in 1680 at the age of 24. She is called “The Lily of the Mohawks”.