Ordinary Time: July 14th
Memorial of Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, virgin; Optional Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis, priest
Old Calendar: St. Bonaventure, bishop and doctor; St. Francis Solano, priest (Hist)
Kateri was born in 1656 near the town of Auriesville, New York, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She was baptized by Jesuit missionary Fr. Jacques de Lambertville on Easter of 1676 at the age of twenty. She devoted her life to prayer, penitential practices, and the care of the sick and aged in Caughnawaga near Montreal (where her relics are now enshrined). She incurred the hostility of her tribe because of her faith. She was devoted to the Eucharist, and to Jesus Crucified, and was called the "Lily of the Mohawks." She died in 1680 and was beatified June 22, 1980 — the first native American to be declared "Blessed. — Magnificat, July 2003St. Camillus de Lellis, born of a noble family of Chieti, Italy, was a young soldier of fortune when he decided to consecrate his life to the service of the sick. He improved the treatment and care of hospital patients, and founded the Order of Hospitallers which bears his name.Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar in 1969 today was the feast of St. Bonaventure whose memorial is now celebrated on July 15. St. Camillus de Lellis' feast was celebrated on July 18 before 1961.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha
[Pronounce: Gah-deh-lee Deh-gah-quee-tah]
The blood of martyrs is the seed of saints. Nine years after the Jesuits Isaac Jogues and John de Brebeuf were tortured to death by Huron and Iroquois Native American nations, a baby girl was born near the place of their martyrdom, Auriesville, New York. She was to be the first person born in North America to be beatified. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin, taken captive by the Iroquois and given as wife to the chief of the Mohawk clan, the boldest and fiercest of the Five Nations. When she was four, Kateri lost her parents and little brother in a smallpox epidemic that left her disfigured and half blind. She was adopted by an uncle, who succeeded her father as chief. He hated the coming of the Blackrobes (missionaries), but could do nothing to them because a peace treaty with the French required their presence in villages with Christian captives. She was moved by the words of three Blackrobes who lodged with her uncle, but fear of him kept her from seeking instruction. She refused to marry a Mohawk man and at nineteen finally got the courage to take the step of converting. She was baptized with the name Kateri (Catherine) on Easter Sunday.
- This website is dedicated solely to information regarding Saint Kateri. Also this website, Lily of the Mohawk, is worth a visit.
- A wonderful place to make a pilgrimage is the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs. The Shrine is situated in the heartland of New York State, in the Diocese of Albany. The Shrine is the site of the America's first and only canonized Martyrs: St. Rene Goupil (1642), Jesuit brother; St. Isaac Jogues (1646), Jesuit priest; and St. John Lalande (1646), lay missioner. Here also is the birthplace of the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks, born at Ossernenon in 1656, just ten years after these Martyrdoms.
- Read more about St. Kateri in this article, The Lily and the Cross.
- For even more information you may order Kateri Tekakwitha: Mohawk Maid and/or Kateri Tekakwitha, Mystic of the Wilderness from Amazon.com.
St. Francis Solano
The diocese of Cordova, in Spain, was the birthplace of this Saint, who won many thousands of souls to God. From his earliest years he was characterized by a modest behavior, prudent silence, and edifying meekness.
- Read more about this great missionary saint here.