Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

February 23,1992
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
 Lord. Amen.