Saint Kateri July 14

Saint Kateri

On July 14, we will be praying Vespers at Queen of Martyrs church.  July 14 is the Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American woman of North America to be canonized.  She was a Mohawk and grew up in New York.  "Kateri" means Kathryn and is the name taken by her upon her baptism at age 19.  She was named after St. Catherine of Siena.   She contracted smallpox when she was young.  Her family died, and her face was scarred from the disease.  She was very shy because of how her face looked.

Girls married at a young age in Mohawk culture, but Kateri resisted her extended family's urgings.  She wanted to remain a virgin like St. Catherine and other saints.  When she converted, she decided to move near Montreal, where there was a community of Christian Native Americans.  The other soon came to understand that there was something special, something holy about Kateri.

She died young at the age of 24 from another disease.  Witnesses saw her scars disappear minutes after her death, and her face became radiant and beautiful.

We will sing a hymn, Jesu corona virginum, in honor of St. Kateri and other saints like her.  It was written by St. Ambrose in the Fourth Century.  Of course, we will sing the English translation.

Queen of Martyrs

It's hard to tell now, but Queen of Martyrs Church was heavily damaged in the 2019 tornado.  The parish website has pictures of the damage.  Not everything was damaged, however, the statue of Mary still stood, undamaged, while everything around it had fallen down.  The parishioners still talk about it to this day.

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