17th Century Mohawk Indian to be canonized as a Saint on Sunday by the Pope...

17th century Mohawk Indian, She Who Bumps Into Things, to be made a saint  along with New York nun

  • Kateri 'Caterina' Tekakwitha cared for the  elderly and sick in New York and Canada until her death in 1680
  • Was given her unfortunate surname because of  her poor vision as it literally means 'she who bumps into things'
  • Mother Marianne Cope, also known as  'Mother  of the Outcasts', cared for exiled lepers in Hawaii
  • The two are among  seven Roman Catholics to be  canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on  Sunday

  By Helen Pow

|

A 17th century Mohawk Indian whose name means  'she who bumps into things' because of her poor vision and a New York nun who  miraculously cured two dying patients will this weekend be declared  saints.

Kateri 'Caterina' Tekakwitha and Mother Marianne Cope, also known as 'Mother of the  Outcasts', are among seven Roman  Catholics set to be canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday.

Hundreds of pilgrims are travelling to Rome  to attend the ceremony, with some of Mother Marianne's followers stopping over  in her hometown of Utica, New York, on the way.

Saintly: Mother Marianne Cope, pictured left in 1883, and Kateri Tekakwitha, right are among seven Roman Catholics set to be canonised by Pop Benedict XVI on Sunday
Saintly: Mother Marianne Cope, pictured left in 1883, and Kateri Tekakwitha, right are among seven Roman Catholics set to be canonised by Pop Benedict XVI on Sunday

Saintly: Mother Marianne Cope, pictured left in 1883,  and Kateri Tekakwitha, right are among seven Roman Catholics set to be canonised  by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday

Mother Marianne was known for her strength  and kindness, battling bureaucrats in Hawaii as she led a group of fellow  Franciscan nuns to care for leprosy patients in the islands.

By declaring her a saint, the Vatican will  formally recognise that she is in heaven and was responsible for teenager Kate  Mahoney's medically inexplicable recovery from multiple organ failure in 1993  and Sharon Smith's successful 2005 fight against an infection that tore a hole  between her intestines and stomach.

Saving Ms Mahoney's life almost 20 years ago  paved the way for Mother Marianne's beatification in 2005, and Ms Smith's  unlikely recovery was the miracle needed for her to be canonised.

They were cured after friends and  family  prayed to Mother Marianne. In Smith's case, a sister pinned a bag of soil  containing some of Mother Marianne's bone fragments to her  hospital  gown.

At the ceremony on Sunday, presided over by  the Pope, the church will also canonise Caterina Tekakwitha, a 17th-century  Mohawk Indian and daughter of a Mohawk Chief.

Saint: Caterina Tekakwitha lived from 1656-1680 in the U.S. and Canada, and became the first Native American to be beatified in 1980

Mohawk: Caterina Tekakwitha, pictured, lived from  1656-1680 in the U.S. and Canada, and became the first Native American to be  beatified in 1980

Remembered: The National Kateri Shrine and Native American Museum is pictured in Fonda, New York

Remembered: The National Kateri Shrine and Native  American Museum is pictured in Fonda, New York

Caterina cared for the elderly and sick and  lived from 1656-1680 in New York and Canada. She became the first Native American to be beatified in 1980 and was recently approved by Pope  Benedict  XVI as one of seven new Catholic saints.

Caterina has  a national shrine located in Fonda, New York, where she lived as a  teenager.

She was born in 1656 in nearby Auriesville  but her parents - one of whom was a Mohawk Chief named Kenneronkwa - and brother  died of smallpox when she was aged only four.

Caterina survived  but was given the unfortunate surname because of her poor vision - as it  literally means 'she who bumps into things'.

Sunday's ceremony comes nearly a century  after Mother Marianne's 1918 death at Kalaupapa, an isolated peninsula on  Molokai Island where Hawaii governments forcibly exiled leprosy patients for  decades.

Mother Marianne heard the call to come to  Hawaii from New York state in 1883 when she was 45.

She was the only religious leader in the U.S.  and Europe - of 50 asked -  who agreed to a request by Hawaii's king and queen  to come to the  islands to help leprosy patients.

Saved:
Saved: The Vatican will formally recognise that Mother Marianne was responsible for the medically inexplicable recovery of Kate Mahoney, pictured right, and Sharon Smith, left

Saved: The Vatican will formally recognise that Mother  Marianne was responsible for the medically inexplicable recovery of Kate  Mahoney, pictured right, and Sharon Smith, left

At the time, there was widespread fear of the  disfiguring disease, which  can cause skin lesions, mangled fingers and toes and  lead to blindness.

'I am not afraid of any disease,' she wrote,  agreeing to what would become a more than three-decade mission helping those  banished to the unfriendly sea cliffs of the Hawaiian peninsula.

The Hawaiian kingdom began exiling patients  to Kalaupapa in 1866 to control the disease, a policy that remained in place  until a century later even though new drugs in the 1940s made it  curable.

Shortly after her arrival from  Syracuse,  N.Y., she had learned that a government-appointed  administrator was abusing  patients at Branch Hospital in Honolulu.

Mother Marianne threatened to leave with the  six sisters that accompanied her  unless the government removed the official.  The government soon gave her full oversight of the hospital.

'She was just an ordinary person, like us,'  Charlotte Recarte, 67, a retiree from Oahu, told The New York  Times. 'Inside all of us, we can be  saints. We just have to do the work. That's what Mother Marianne  did.'

Caterina found Christianity as a teenager  despite her Mohawk clan being vehemently against it.

Banished: Children and adults stand outside Father Damien's church in the late 19th century when around 600 sufferers were shipped to the island

Banished: Children and adults stand outside Father  Damien's church in the late 19th century when around 600 sufferers were shipped  to the island

After her family passed away, she was looked  after by her uncle, a Turtle Clan chief who hated the religion, but a conflict  moved her four miles north-west to Caughnawaga, New York, aged 10.

Despite her disfigured face from smallpox, a  number of men were interested in marrying her. But Caterina decided to stay  celibate because she believed they only wanted her for political  gain.

It was as she thought more about the  potential of a loveless marriage, she started to find out about  Christianity.

Her mother had given her a set of  rosary  prayer beads but her uncle had taken them away because he did not want her to  become a Catholic. But she became more and more interested  in the  faith.

Caterina then began Catholic teaching in  secret aged 18. Her uncle eventually allowed this as long as she stayed in their  village.

She was persecuted by her fellow villagers  for joining the faith but soon  escaped to the Mission of St. Francis Xavier - a  Canadian settlement.

Canonisation: Pope Benedict XVI, right, will declare the two women saints on Sunday

Canonisation: Pope Benedict XVI, right, will declare the  two women saints on Sunday

Caterina was known for her gentleness,  kindness, and good humour, according to the website of her shrine in  Fonda.

She vowed to stay a virgin for her whole life  in 1679 in Canada and taught children to pray, as well as working with the  elderly and sick.

She died in 1680 after a serious illness and  was buried in Quebec, Canada. She was said to appear to many people after her  death and held responsible for miracles.

Legend has it that just minutes after she  died she shone brightly and all the marks from smallpox vanished from her face,  revealing her true beauty.

Caterina is highly-regarded in Catholicism  because of her commitment to helping others despite all  the persecution  and illness she suffered herself.

Both women will be honoured during the  ceremony in Rome.

Two-hundred fifty pilgrims are travelling  from Hawaii to witness the canonisation of Mother Marianne.

Among those attending the canonisation are  nine Kalaupapa patients. Although cured, a dozen people still live at the  peninsula, all older than 70.

It will be the second trip to Rome in three  years for Hawaii pilgrims. Many made a similar trip in 2009 for the canonization  of Saint Damien, a Belgian priest who moved to Kalaupapa to care for leprosy  patients in 1873 and who died of the disease 16 years later.

Many are also making a pilgrimage to Utica,  where Mother Marianne moved with her family from Germany in 1839, aged  one.

At St. Joseph's church and parish school, she  developed her faith but left in eight grade to work in a factory after her  father became ill. In 1862, she entered  the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse.

Bishop Silva said Mother Marianne's life has  many lessons for people today, even though leprosy isn't a threat anymore. Her  example can be applied to other issues, such as domestic violence or  homelessness.

'She is an inspiration to us to do the hard  work, to not always do the glory work, but to roll up our sleeves and do what  needs to be done for the sake of our brothers and sisters,' he said

(Daily Mail UK)

Views: 1131

Replies to This Discussion

 Pray for us, Blessed Kateri and Mother Marianne Cope, and those who have recourse to thee.

My daughter ( who is part Muskcogee Creek Indian) is converting to Catholicism and she picked her Patron Saint as Kateri Tekakwitha.  Oddly enough, after she chose Kateri, my daughter learned that Kateri was being cannonized on her dad's birthday.  He passed on over 2 years ago. 

I learned more about her.  Thank you for sharing ! 

Laurie

This is a truly fascinating article Trevor, and a joy to read.

Caterina and Marianne are two women who speak to us from centuries ago, and now it is our turn to speak to them today, by recognising the spiritual beings they were. They did, indeed work, not for 'glory' but with the sincere and honest dedication and devotion that souls with a mission in life, fulfil.

 

I loved reading about Caterina nd her Native American heritage. She truly was a woman of remarkable qualities. Mother Marianne also greatly interests me. Again, a beautiful soul working against Leprosy in Hawaii. This terrible disease has a particular connection to me. As I have mentioned elsewhere, here, some 2000 years ago I was cured of an ailment in my right leg which, if left untreated, would have led to leprosy. So, yes - a Saint, indeed.

Thank you for this share and the beautiful pictures which bring everything vividly to our attention.

Pauline

 

Fascinating Trevor, another beautiful soul and a life lived in service to God.

This relates to Saint Katherine Drexel.

Canonization

Following the miraculous healing of Robert Gutherman’s eardrum, St. Katharine was beatified in 1988.  The healing of little Amy Wall’s deafness opened the way for St. Katharine’s canonization by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000.

In Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City, during the solemn celebration of Mass, Pope John Paul proclaimed Mother Katharine Drexel,
“Saint Katharine Drexel.”

Joy filled this historical moment when a Philadelphia heroine took her place among the Saints of the Catholic Church. Great rejoicing also took place at the SBS Motherhouse and Shrine of Saint Katharine Drexel in Bensalem, Pa., as well as throughout the United States and Haiti.

The process of canonization for Katharine was begun by John Cardinal Krol who officially introduced her Cause in Rome in December 1964. On January 26, 1987, Mother Katharine was declared Venerable.

The Vatican concluded that Robert Gutherman, whose family had prayed solely to Mother Katharine, was miraculously cured of deafness in 1974. Katharine's beatification took place on November 20, 1988.

October 1, 2000 saw the culmination of this journey. Several boards investigated a second healing, that of Amanda (Amy) Wall, and concluded that her cure from nerve deafness was truly miraculous.

Canonization

Following the miraculous healing of Robert Gutherman’s eardrum, St. Katharine was beatified in 1988.  The healing of little Amy Wall’s deafness opened the way for St. Katharine’s canonization by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000.

In Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City, during the solemn celebration of Mass, Pope John Paul proclaimed Mother Katharine Drexel,
“Saint Katharine Drexel.”

Joy filled this historical moment when a Philadelphia heroine took her place among the Saints of the Catholic Church. Great rejoicing also took place at the SBS Motherhouse and Shrine of Saint Katharine Drexel in Bensalem, Pa., as well as throughout the United States and Haiti.

The process of canonization for Katharine was begun by John Cardinal Krol who officially introduced her Cause in Rome in December 1964. On January 26, 1987, Mother Katharine was declared Venerable.

The Vatican concluded that Robert Gutherman, whose family had prayed solely to Mother Katharine, was miraculously cured of deafness in 1974. Katharine's beatification took place on November 20, 1988.

October 1, 2000 saw the culmination of this journey. Several boards investigated a second healing, that of Amanda (Amy) Wall, and concluded that her cure from nerve deafness was truly miraculous.

~~~

The “Decree” on the heroicity of the virtues exercised by the servant of God during her earthly life required extensive historical and  theological study on her life.  It included sworn testimony of witnesses who knew her and an examination of her complete writings. These passed through a board of theologians and a meeting of the  Members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

This is a nice picture of Mother Marianne ...

 

TORONTO - When Grace Esquega, director of the Blessed Kateri Mission at the Kitchitwa Kateri Anamewgamik parish in Thunder Bay, Ont., heard that her beloved Kateri Tekakwitha was going to become a saint, she cried.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Esquega says. “When somebody else told me, I had to see it for myself on the news.”
Esquega is one of 70 people heading on a pilgrimage to Rome in October organized through St. Ann’s parish in Toronto, home of the Native Peoples’ Mission of Canada, for the canonization of the native girl exiled from her home because of her devotion to Jesus Christ.

The canonization ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 21.

 


Kateri Tekakwitha was a native born to a Mohawk father and Algonquin mother in what is now upper New York State. She later settled in the Kahnawake region of Quebec, where she died at age 24. Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980, Pope Benedict XVI cleared her way for sainthood earlier this year.
Bob White, a layperson at St. Ann’s and one of the key organizers of the pilgrimage, was shocked by the number of people who wanted to go on the pilgrimage.
“Originally, we thought maybe 40 people,” said White. “We had to keep expanding. And we still have a wait list of about 20 people who would love to go.”
Esquega attended the beatification ceremony of Blessed Kateri in Rome in 1980. Now, returning for the canonization with several members of her parish and her family, including her two granddaughters, Esquega says she wants to “go all out.”
“I’m encouraging everyone to dress up,” said Esquega. “How do we celebrate us as native people? We sing, we play the drums, we dance… and we dress up. When I go, I’ll take my drums. And I will sing as I journey.
“We might not be close up, but to be right there when it’s actually happening… it’s going to be awesome.”
The pilgrimage mostly includes people from St. Ann’s, Blessed Kateri in Thunder Bay and the Kateri Native Ministry of Ottawa. Fr. Frank Wagner, pastor at St. Ann’s, said this group was one of the first to start forming a trip. 
“We called around and there didn’t seem to be much organization,” said Wagner.
“So we decided to plan something ourselves.”
Since then, other pilgrimages have been organized from Montreal and Quebec City, as well as several from the United States. And though the canonization is sure to be packed with Catholics from around the world, White is trying to get his group an audience with the Pope while there.
“My people… they want to go in as aboriginal people, they want to go in as a collection, they want to go in as the First Peoples of Canada.”
But White said no matter what, he knows the trip will be a memorable experience.
“(The canonization) is a celebration of spirituality, both Catholic Christian spirituality and native spirituality,” said White.

Trevor, this is such a fantastic update - a brilliant addition to this interesting topic.

I loved all the photos and the latest information. Yes, St Peter's Square definitely has not seen anything like this before! It has been a most lovely and informative share, for which I thank you.

Pauline

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