Kateri Tekakwitha: First Catholic Native American saint

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Kateri Tekakwitha to be declared a Saint

Post by Maarten » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:08 am

http://winnipeg.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local ... nnipegHome

Updated: Mon Dec. 19 2011 16:37:03
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — The bells of a small church dedicated to Kateri Tekakwitha rang in celebration with news Monday that hundreds of years of efforts to have her canonized are poised to bear fruit.
The Vatican announced that the Mohawk woman who died in 1680 is among those who have passed the last test for sainthood, which could make her the first aboriginal to receive the honour.
No date has been officially announced for the canonization of the first aboriginal saint by Pope Benedict; there have been reports it could be as soon as February.
"It's absolutely wonderful," said George Ryder, who volunteers at the St. Francis Xavier Church in Kahnawake, Que., where Tekakwitha is entombed in a marble shrine.
"It's astounding and it's about time."
It's been 331 years since she died, and 127 years since the process for her canonization began in 1884. She was declared venerable in 1943. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1980, a step the Catholic News Service reported made her "the first Native American to be beatified."
On Monday, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints credited her with a second miracle performed after death, which opens the door to her being declared a saint.
Known as the "Lily of the Mohawks," Tekakwitha was born in New York in 1656. Her mother, father and brother died of small pox when she was four years old and she was scarred by the disease.
The young woman, who was taken in by her uncle and aunt, got her first knowledge of Christianity from missionaries and embraced it with zeal after being baptized when she was 18.
Tekakwitha practiced her faith despite some severe opposition and she finally fled to Kahnawake where her spirituality, virtue and charity impressed not only her own people but missionaries and the French.
It has been claimed that her scars disappeared upon her death at age 24, revealing great beauty, and that many sick people who attended her funeral were healed. It was also said that Tekakwitha, who was described by one priest as "the protectress of Canada," appeared to two people in the weeks after she died.
Ryder said that he has seen a steady stream of pilgrims to the shrine at the church near Montreal in the five years he's been there.
Many people have left items such as pictures, flowers or trinkets in tribute at the square tomb, which sits in front of a statue of Tekakwitha.
Joe Delaronde, a spokesman for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, said, "This is really big news."
"I think it caught a lot of people in Kahnawake by surprise. The work to have her canonized has been going on for a long, long time but it always seemed like it was on the back burner. The announcement this morning was just overwhelming."
Delaronde, who is 53, said he's been hearing about possible sainthood for Tekakwitha all his life.
"After a while, you start to think, 'Well, I guess not in my lifetime,' so it's really just sinking in. I think a lot of the older, especially more devout people, are probably just celebrating like crazy right now."
He said there was a real buzz in the town and the church had marked the occasion in a way no one could miss.
"They've been ringing the bells all morning," he said. "The news is really spreading around here pretty fast."
He described Tekakwitha as someone whose "devotion was almost without equal" in a time when Catholicism was regarded by some with suspicion.
There are several shrines to her in Canada and the United States, in addition to the church in Kahnawake.
The subject of dozens of biographies, Tekakwitha also has a place in popular culture as the symbol of salvation in Leonard Cohen's second novel, "Beautiful Losers."
"She was such a humble person, who sought no glory for herself, only to work for the Lord," said Ryder. "She had this great calling from God and felt that she had to respond."
He predicted that Tekakwitha's sainthood could bring people back to the church who had lapsed.

"It'll reignite the people who still have some faith in them."

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Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by kahnartist » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:21 am

Imagine my surprise to hear Catherine Tekakwitha's name being pronounced during the NPR Hourly News summary this morning!

They said her miracle occurred in 2005 when a little native American boy in WA state was suffering from a rare skin-eating bacteria. His face was ravaged by the affliction. He had already been granted his last rites when the family began to pray to Kateri to save him. The bacteria suddenly stopped and the boy survived. Doctors told Vatican investigators that it was remarkable and unexplainable. 

If ever we succeed to remount Beautiful Losers this will probably mean serious protests in some places.

I am in an experimentation process with a few folks here working on ways to create the "remarkable transformation" in Book 3. Working with 2 video artists (French & Colombian), an architect (British) and a dancer (Italian) during winter break. 

Have also discovered that the husband of one of my friends is the culture chief of the Quebec desk in the Canadian embassy here. 

Wishing you a miraculous holiday season from a wet but not very cold Paris, France,


I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... 1&sc=17&f=

Pope OKs 7 New Saints, Including Hawaii's Marianne
by The Associated Press
The Associated Press - (null)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has approved seven new saints for the Catholic Church, including Hawaii's Mother Marianne and a 17th-century Native American, Caterina Tekakwitha.

Benedict signed decrees Tuesday approving miracles attributed to the intecession of the seven, clearing the last hurdle before their canonizations.

Benedict also signed decrees that 65 Catholics died as martyrs during Spain's civil war and will be beatified, one step shy of possible sainthood.

Marianne cared for leprosy patients on Hawaii's Molokai peninsula in the late 1880s, soon after the death of Father Damien, who was canonized in 2009. Tekakwitha, who lived from 1656-1680 in the U.S. and Canada, became the first Native American to be beatified in 1980. [Copyright 2011 The Associated Press]

To learn more about the NPR iPhone app, go to http://iphone.npr.org/recommendnprnews
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by Henning » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:56 pm

Hi Maarten, this is so funny. I heard the news about Kati being declared a saint on our TV in the breaktime of the final between Germany and Belgium in 1980. And that final was in Rome. I was so surprised when I heard the name. No need to say that Germany won the final, but Belgium played very well.
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by sue7 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:51 pm

Here's another version of the NPR story, with additional details from the little boy's story:
http://www.npr.org/2011/12/20/143981760 ... t=1&f=1001
Vatican Declares Boy's Recovery A 'Miracle'

by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

In February 2006, 5-year-old Jake Finkbonner fell and hit his head while playing basketball at his school in Ferndale, Wash. Soon, he developed a fever and his head swelled. His mother, Elsa, rushed him to Seattle Children's Hospital, where the doctors realized Jake was battling a flesh-eating bacterium called Strep A.

"It traveled all around his face, his scalp, his neck, his chest," she recalls, "and why it didn't travel to his brain or his eyeballs or his heart? He was protected."

Jake was protected, she says, by Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk Indian who lived 350 years ago. She had converted to Catholicism and was considered holy enough by the Vatican to be elevated to "blessed" — one step before sainthood — in 1980. The Finkbonners are Lummi Indian, and their family and friends prayed that Kateri would intercede with God for Jake.

But the doctors' efforts to get ahead of the infection were unsuccessful, and Jake was given his last rites. Then, suddenly, the infection stopped, stunning the doctors. The Rev. Paul Pluth, of the Archdiocese of Seattle, says that was the day an acquaintance placed a "relic" of Kateri — in this case, a small pendant — on Jake's pillow. Pluth believes the timing was not coincidental.

"You can pinpoint the exact date on which this relic was brought to Jake's hospital bed," he says. "He was expected to die at that time, and after the relic was brought and placed on his hospital bed, he did begin to improve."

Of course, Jake did receive the best medical treatment from expert doctors.

Still, for nearly five years, Pluth has headed a tribunal investigating Jake's recovery. And now, after considering testimony by the doctors and others, Pope Benedict XVI has declared it was a miracle, meaning that Kateri is expected to become a saint next year.

"I think it's pretty great that she's becoming a saint," says Jake Finkbonner, who is now 11. "And not only that she's so far the only Native American saint, but that I'm pretty much part of it. I don't know anybody else except for myself who's included in the process of becoming a saint."

Jake has fully recovered, although he's had more than 25 surgeries to reduce the scarring on his face. In the short term, he says, he might celebrate with a milkshake. In the long term, he says, he plans to be a plastic surgeon, so he can help children like him.
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by John Etherington » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:08 pm

This bodes well for Leonard getting a posthumous sainthood (unless the pope reads "Beautiful Losers")!
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by lizzytysh » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:10 am

I heard the same news report as you did, Aaron, and felt delighted with the great news. And who of us couldn't immediately think of Leonard and wonder what his reaction, he with such great taste in women 8) .
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by Squidgy » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:56 am

I had some Kateri prayer cards at one time; can't find mine anywhere. But I do remember giving one to Joe Way during the New York event. Perhaps if he still has it, he can scan it in for everyone to see.
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by Squidgy » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:02 am

Ah, wait, here it can be found at this link:

http://www.catholicprayercards.org/cata ... 628188.htm

Note also the lovely pendant is also available. The necklace-chain to hang it on costs extra.
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by Steve Wilcox » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:40 pm

A Miracle is defined as: A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is, therefore, considered to be of Divine origin.

But these “Divine events” must first be declared as such and approved by a mere human, in this case a.k.a. The Pope. This just confirms the joke that is religion.
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by Cate » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:43 pm

Over the weekend I've heard Kateri Tekakwitha's name several times on the radio. Her canalization will be this Sunday and seems many people are getting excited for her.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ ... ml?cmp=rss
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by Steve Wilcox » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:51 pm

I would say this recent "honour" would pale in comparison to being a subject in a Leonard Cohen novel, some 40 years prior.
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Re: Pope OKs Sainthood for Kateri Tekakwitha!

Post by mckennyg » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:07 am

Another article from the Irish Times today at:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opi ... 57526.html

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Kateri Tekakwitha: First Catholic Native American saint

Post by wakeupmartin » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:11 pm

Just read this on the BBC news page http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19996957
There's more about Kateri Tekakwitha in this post: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=22073
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Re: Kateri Tekakwitha: First Catholic Native American saint

Post by Anne » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:07 am

There is a post about this in the Guardian. It seems the Pope has come around to recognizing her. I do not know if LC will be happy or not. Nothing that the Pope does has the possibility of pleasing me! I think he is a completely horrible man. But that is a different issue...

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Re: Kateri Tekakwitha: First Catholic Native American saint

Post by imaginary friend » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:37 pm

... And in the Vancouver Sun as well.

http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Kateri ... story.html

Something special is lost when this young woman who touched so many lives, before and after her death, is commandeered to promote the Vatican.
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