Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Feast, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha!

(Image and facts from this piece have been adapted from "Catholic". They originated from the book A Saint A Day, by Leonard Foley, OFM.)

Today we celebrate the feast day of the "Lily of the Mohawks."

She was born in 1856, ten years after the martyrdoms of the first canonized missionaries to America. Ironically, she was also born in the same place these men were martyred, near Albany. The names of the martyrs are St. Rene Goupil (1642), Jesuit brother; St. Isaac Jogues (1646), Jesuit priest; and St. John Lalande (1646), lay missioner. Information about the shrine may be found here.

The daughter of a Mohawk chieftan, Kateri followed largely by instinct, having little formal religious instruction, the call to consecrate herself to God. At the advice of a priest, she left her village one night in order to make a two-hundred mile trek to a Christian Native American village near Montreal.

Blessed Kateri is the patronness of World Youth Day (being celebrated this week in Australia!), environmentalists, and orphans.

Blessed Kateri, Lily of the Mohawks,

Holy Mary, Mother of God and Rose of Sharon,

Today we call upon you to bind your hearts together

And intercede for the youth of our world.

So many lost, so many in exile,

Though the mark of Christ is emblazoned on their foreheads.

Go before them now, guide them in the path of renewal.

Pray that holy young men will respond to the call

to a living martyrdom, a holy priesthood. Amen.

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