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Bl. Kateri, Bl. Marianne Cope to be canonized October 21

February 20, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI will canonize 7 new saints, including 2 with American connections, on October 21.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the young Mohawk woman who converted to Catholicism, will become the first Native American canonized as a saint. Blessed Marianne Cope, a German nun who followed St. Damien of Molokai in ministering to lepers in Hawaii, will be canonized at the same ceremony.

Also canonized on October 21 will be: Jacques Berthieu, a French Jesuit; Pedro Calungsod, a Filipino lay catechist and martyr; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian priest; Maria del Carmen (nee Maria Salles y Barangueras), the Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching; and Anna Schaffer, a German lay woman.

Canonization ceremonies are regularly scheduled at consistories: meetings of the College of Cardinals. Ordinarily the consistories that give formal approval for such matters include only those cardinals who are present in Rome at the time. For the October 21 canonizations, however, the public consistory was held immediately following the elevation of 22 new cardinals on February 18, and included nearly all of the members of the College of Cardinals.


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  • Posted by: phil L - Feb. 21, 2012 7:09 PM ET USA

    It would be more accurate to say that Bl. Kateri will be the first Native American saint from North America. But even that requires explanation. The Vatican sometimes classifies the "Americas" as a single continent, and at other times distinguishes between "North America" and "Latin America," putting Mexico in the latter category. By any ordinary geographical reckoning, it's true that St. Juan Diego was the first canonized North American saint of Native American ancestry.

  • Posted by: self - Feb. 21, 2012 4:48 PM ET USA

    Why is Kateri Tekakwitha always referred to as being the "first Native American canonized as a saint?" With all due respect,she was the first one to be beatified. But wasn't St.Juan Diego, to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared, canonized in 2002. I believe Mexico is considered to be a North American country and that he was born of Aztec Indian (indignenous) parents. I know it is a trivial matter which I'm sure God, they and their devotees are not too ooncerned.