Prayer for the Canonization of
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
Brother John Raymond
Blessed Kateri was born near Auriesville, NY in 1656. Her mother
was a Catholic but her father, a Mohawk Chief, was not. When Kateri
was small both her parents died of smallpox. Kateri caught the
disease which left her scarred and suffering from partial blindness.
She went to live with her uncle and suffered much from his unkind
wife. They were not Catholics. Kateri longed to be baptized. It was
not until 1675 that she was baptized by a Jesuit missionary who was
visiting her village. She was twenty years old. Her conversion
brought her great suffering from her aunt. Since Kateri refused to
work on Sunday she would not be given any food all day. Children
even threw stones at her. Things got so bad that the good
missionary, Father Lamberville, S.J., helped her escape to Canada.
In Canada Kateri lived in a Catholic Indian village which had its
own chapel. There Kateri made her First Holy Communion. Increasing
in holiness, Kateri became friends with an Indian woman named Marie
Therese with whom she often prayed. They even went to Montreal and
visited the nuns at the hospital there. Here Kateri learned about
making a vow of virginity. With the permission of the Jesuit
chaplain of the village Kateri made this vow in 1675. She also
consecrated herself to Our Blessed Mother. Kateri had a very great
devotion to Our Lady.
BLessed Kateri was an ascetic. She practiced great penances. She
scourged herself, fasted often and even mixed ashes with her food.
She prayed the Rosary as she walked barefoot in the snow.
Blessed Kateri was a great contemplative soul of prayer. She
prayed for hours and attended two Holy Masses each day. She did many
charitable acts and helped the sick and elderly. She offered much
penance for the conversion of the Mohawks.
In March of 1680 Kateri became ill. She suffered from constant
headaches and fever yet she spent her days faithfully praying her
Rosary. She held her crucifix and suffered bravely. Soon it was Holy
Week. Kateri said to the Jesuit Father: "It is Holy Week. I must do
penance. Could I fast?" The priest assured her that her illness was
her penance. Blessed Kateri received Holy Communion and was anointed
on April 7th. Soon her death agony began. "Jesus! Mary! I love You!"
were her last words and then Kateri died.
Then a miracle happened. "Look!" someone said "the smallpox scars
are gone!" Blessed Kateri was radiantly beautiful. The Lily of the
Mohawks had gone to meet Jesus her Bridegroom. Kateri died at the
age of twenty-four.
Blessed Kateri's tomb is at Caughnawaga near Montreal. She is
honored at the Shrine of Blessed Kateri at Fonda, NY, the location
of her village and also nearby at the Shrine of the North American
Martyrs in Auriesville, NY (near Amsterdam). Kateri was declared
Blessed on June 22,1980. Those interested in joining the Blessed
Kateri Tekakwitha League should write
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha League
National Kateri Center
Auriesville, N.Y. 12016
Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
O God, Who, among the many marvels of Your Grace in the New
World, did cause to blossom the pure and tender lily, Kateri
Tekakwitha, grant we beseech You, that this young friend of Jesus
and of His Cross may soon be counted among her Saints by Holy Mother
Church and that our hearts may be enkindled with a stronger desire
to imitate her innocence and faith. Through the same Christ Our