.- The Washington-based Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions announced recently that they have declared July 14th as an official day of prayer for the canonization of Blessed Keteri Tekakwitha, the first Native American proposed for Saintood. Blessed Kateri, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980, has long been seen as a potential and perhaps unspoken patron saint for Native American peoples.
The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions worries that the would-be Saint, known as the ‘Lily of the Mohawks’ is not well enough known in the U.S. and last November, began urging Bishops and parishes to spread her story.
Blessed Kateri first learned of Christ as a young woman from a group of French Jesuits in 1667, and almost immediately begged to be baptized.
Shunned by her family and community for her devout faith, Kateri was forced to flee through 200 miles of wilderness to a Christian, Native American enclave, where she took a vow of chastity and amazed even the resident French missionaries with her austere and fervent love of God.
The feast day for Blessed Kateri, who died in 1680, is celebrated on July 14th.