On Christmas Day 1677 Saint Kateri made her first holy communion and on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1679 made a vow of perpetual virginity. She also offered herself to the Virgin Mary, asking Our Lady to accept her as a daughter. A Jesuit priest quoted Saint Kateri as saying: “For a long time my decision on what I will do has been made. I have consecrated myself entirely to Jesus, son of Mary. I have chosen Him for my husband and He alone will take me for wife.”
During the last years of her life, she endured great suffering from tuberculosis. She died on April 17th, 1680, shortly before her 24th birthday, and was buried in Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada. Her final words were “Jesus — Mary — I love you.” The Jesuit priest Fr. Cholenec later wrote: “This face, so marked and swarthy, suddenly changed about a quarter of an hour after her death, and became in a moment so beautiful and so clear that I observed it immediately.” She is venerated as the Protectress of Canada and the patron saint of Native Americans and ecology.
|Drawing, "St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012 |
On thing you might be wondering about in both Father's painting and in my drawing: why does St. Kateri have this blanket looking thing on her head? The smallpox not only left her face disfigured but also damaged her eyes making sunlight almost unbearably painful. So, whenever she had to go outside on a sunny day, she would bring her head covering down so her eyes were in deep shadow.
|The only known portrait from life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, painted by Father Claude Chauchetière in 1696.|
And so the day has finally arrived -- Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks is now St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Her cause for canonization was opened in 1884 and in 2006, a second miracle was attributed to the intercession of Blessed Kateri. During the following years, the Vatican confirmed the miracle leading to Blessed Kateri being canonized and declared a saint. The miracle, just in case you do not know, was that of a five-year-old boy who was miraculously cured of necrotizing fasciitis or the flesh-eating disease. The boy's physicians informed the family that they should prepare for his death. Then the priest of their family's parish church recommended that they ask for the intercession of Blessed Kateri. While they were doing this, they were visited by a sister who introduced herself as Sr. Kateri. The sister prayed with them and then left a relic of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha on the boy's bed. From that point on, the boy began to recover quickly -- so much so that even the doctors had to admit that what they were witnessing was definitely beyond any medical intervention. The boy and his family are in Rome today and were present as the Holy Father declared Kateri Tekakwitha to be a saint.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha, please pray for us.
BRADEN UPDATEI wanted to show you this new photograph of Braden without any other photos to distract you. Why? Because I truly think this is one of the most beautiful pictures I have yet seen of this blessed boy. Although his shirt has the word "beware" on it with the picture of a shark, this little fellow is anything but predatory. What a great guy he is -- can you tell I'm in love?
|"Braden Sweetly Sleeping"|
SUKI AND SALLIE
|Suki and one of her many "aunties" saying their hellos|
I have been blessed with visits from three dear friends during the past 4 days and each one of these friends is also a friend of Suki's. So, just like royalty receiving tributes from the members of their court, Suki has sat in her bed and waited while each one of these friends approached her quietly, asking, "is it all right if I pat you, Suki?" Giving them an almost imperceptible and very queenly nod, each "courtier" is allowed to approach and pat and rub and scratch while softly speaking endearments. She tolerates this for a period of time (especially if they are scratching her chin bone) until she tires of it all. At this point, she gives a big yawn and indicates her desire to return to her nap!
|Were you talking about me?|