October 19, 2012

Flashback Friday | Honoring Kateri

A year ago, Tammy Beauvais launched her Kateri collection to honor the Mohawk woman who will become the first Native American to be recognized as a Saint by the Catholic Church.

The Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as "Lily of the Mohawks," was a Mohawk woman born in 1656. She died at the young age of 24, but the years leading up to her untimely death were marked with sincere Catholic devotion.

After she passed on, various miracles were associated with her. Catholics began petitioning the Vatican to declare Kateri a saint over 130 years ago, but it wasn't until the 1980s that the Vatican certified the first miracle attributed to her intercession. Last year, the Vatican credited her with stopping a flesh-eating infection and healing a Native American boy in Washington State. This was the second miracle that was required for canonization.

Some Mohawks maintain that Kateri was raised predominantly in Mohawk traditional culture, therefore her spirituality was mostly of the old faith and her miracles are actually an indication of the power of Mohawk spirituality.

As noted in this recent article, "Some [Native people] are proud, because Kateri was a Mohawk. Some doubt the truthfulness of her story as told by the church. Some hope the canonization will ease tensions between Catholic and traditional American Indians. And some are euphoric that the church is about to name its first American Indian saint, even if they wish it had happened sooner."

Celebratory events are planned in Rome for the canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, which will happen in just two days. All are invited to participate:
- Saturday, October 20 at 8:00 pm - Prayer vigil, Basilica of Saint John Lateran
- Sunday, October 21 at 9:30 am - Canonization ceremony, Saint Peter's Square
- Monday, October 22 at 10:00 am - Mass of Thanksgiving, Basilica of Saint John Lateran

There are also several events happening throughout Canada, including these in Kahnawake, QC:
- Saturday, October 20 from 7:00pm-10:00pm - Prayer Vigil.
- Sunday, October 21 at 9:00am - Re-broadcast of the Canonization Mass in Rome; at 10:30 am, Eucharistic Celebration; at 5:00pm, Eucharistic Benediction and Adoration immediately following Mass. The ceremonies at the Shrine of Kateri Tekakwitha will be principally in English, with parts in French as well as in Mohawk.

The Kateri Tekakwitha Cape, designed by Tammy Beauvais, adorned with Kateri's image, feathers, and a lilies. A beautiful cape for someone blessed.
Kateri is considered the patron of ecology, nature, and the environment. Click here and here and here to read more. Click here for more information about Kateri's events..