Patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile and Native Americans.
Kateri was born near the town of Auriesville, New York, in the year 1656, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She was four years old when her mother died of smallpox. The disease also attacked Kateri and transfigured her face. She was adopted by her two aunts and uncle.
Kateri became converted as a teenager. She was baptized at the age of twenty and incurred the great hostility of her tribe. Although she had to suffer greatly for her faith, she remained firm in it.
Kateri went to the new Christian colony of Native Americans in Canada. Here she lived a life dedicated to prayer, penitential practices, and care for the sick and aged. Every morning, even in bitterest winter, she stood before the chapel door until it opened at four and remained there until after the last Mass. She was devoted to the Eucharist and to Jesus Crucified.
She died on April 7, 1680, at the age of twenty-four, and was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012. She is known as the “Lily of the Mohawks.”
PRAYER: Lord, You called the Virgin, Blessed Kateri, to shine forth among the Native American people as an example of purity of life. Grant, through her intercession, that all peoples of every tribe, tongue, and nation, may be gathered into Your Church and proclaim Your greatness in one song of praise. Amen.