Kateri’s sainthood

Setting up the “saints” page on our church website more than four years ago, I came across Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha [pronounced ‘gaderi dega ‘gwita in Mohawk] for the first time.

National shrine

SJIS5112-102Of course, I was fascinated so I looked online for her place of origin— a museum, a church, something someplace to fantasize about visiting one day.

Then I found the national shrine in Fonda, NY; so I subscribed to its mailings, received two or three, and continued to look for Kateri’s name in my daily online searches.

Magazine announcement

Last Friday I set aside reading materials to take to our house in Brownsville since we have no access to the outside world— no TV, radio, or internet service— while there.  The stash included the monthly Messenger of St. Anthony with its article, “Lily of the Mohawks,” (June 2012, pp. 38-40) announcing Venerable Kateri Tekakwitha’s upcoming canonization.

Kateri’s sainthood

Immediately I recalled the large painting outside the Blessed Sacrament Chapel down the hall from Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel at the St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Who could’ve known that Kateri would be canonized just months after our visit there?

Venerable Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) will be declared a saint on October 21, 2012.  Her feast day is July fourteenth in the United States, April seventeenth in Canada.



BlessedKateri-a    BlessedKateri-b     SJIS5112-246     CPC-StK113b    CPC-StK113a


O Blessed Kateri, help us to trust as you trusted.  Help us to see light even in our present difficulties.  Help us to know that God has not abandoned or moved from us.  Help us to know [and] help us to believe God is with us.  Amen.

Blessed Kateri, star of native people and bright light for all!  We thank God for your heroic courage, constant perseverance, and deep love of the cross.

Pray for us that our love for Christ may deepen.  And may we imitate you in following God’s will even when difficulties arise.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Stella Maris Lamar, TX

Stella Maris
Lamar, TX

O God, who desired the Virgin Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha to flower among Native Americans in a life of innocence, grant, through her intercession, that when all are gathered into your Church from every nation, tribe and tongue, they may magnify you in a single canticle of praise.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

O Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me!  I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.  Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset!  Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.  Make me wise that I may understand all things you have taught my people.  Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.  I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.  Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.  So when my life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame (Sioux Indian prayer).


Kateri’s chaplet consists of eight brown, eight red and eight crystal beads.  Initially intended as a prayer for Kateri’s sainthood, the chaplet is now offered in thanksgiving for answered prayers and can also be recited for the protection of the environment, “our common home” (Pope Francis).

Pray an Our Father on each of the eight brown beads, a Hail Mary on each of the eight red beads, and a Glory be on each of the eight crystal beads.  Then finish with “May the Holy Trinity— the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit— through Kateri’s prayers restore the beauty of our waters, skies, forests, and air— the ecology of our entire world.”

July 14, 2014

I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus.  He must be my only love (St. Kateri Tekakwitha).

July 14, 2015

“Who will teach me what is most pleasing to the Lord that I may do it?” (St. Kateri Tekakwitha).

July 14, 2016

“I will willingly abandon this miserable body to hunger and suffering, provided that my soul may have its ordinary nourishment” (St. Kateri Tekakwitha).

July 14, 2017

In the host of saints of the Catholic Church, there has never been one so connected to the earth, yet so joined to the Spirit.  The rhythm of the seasons, the cycles of the moon, the bounty of the harvests, and the elements of wind and fire surrounded her each day.  And from this organic simplicity, a huge capacity for spiritual communion with Christ was nurtured and matured like a mighty tree, the symbol of the Iroquois.  Yet Saint Kateri Tekakwitha remained a gentle lily (Emily Cavins in Lily of the Mohawks).

January 6, 2021

When you know who you are, when your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will, no cold can touch your heart, no deluge can dampen your purpose.  You know that you are alive (Chief Seattle, 1780-1866, leader of the Suquamish and the Duwamish Native American tribes).


Painting on buffalo hide by Daniel Long Soldier (1999)


Links of interest…  Catholic Prayer Cards: facebook / orders / website (more)…  Creation stories you probably haven’t heard…  Did St. Kateri bring a miracle healing not once, but twice, to the same child…  Promise kept: parts one & two…  Saint of those who are outside waiting to get in…  St. Joseph’s Indian School: blogchapel / culture / museum / website…  Restoring indigenous languages into the Masses…  St. Kateri: about (more) / blessed / care of creation / chapel / chaplet (more) / church / feast (Jul 14) / inspirationlily of the Mohawks: article – celebrating – more / litany / model ecologist / my cousin / national shrine / novena / patron of Native Americans & people in exilepilgrimages to the canonization (Oct 21) / saint & Christian hero (in the Word among us) / star of the natives / special prayers

WP post…  Sioux chapel stations…  St. Joseph’s chapel…  Stella Maris