Learning about Prayer with St. Kateri Tekakwitha October, 2012 Parent Drop-in Session In 1656, a baby girl was born to an Algonquin woman and a Mohawk Chief. The baby and her family lived in a village in presentday New York State. Kateri became an orphan at age four when her parents and brother died of smallpox Her uncle became the new chief, took care of Kateri and named her “Tekakwitha” Jesuit priests came to Kateri’s tribe. Kateri was inspired by their teachings and recalled her mother’s love for the Catholic faith. She was baptized on Easter Sunday, 1686. Her family and tribe did not approve of her new faith. She moved to a Christian village. Kateri loved Jesus and loved to pray. The cross reminded her of Christ’s love and sacrifice She prayed constantly and asked for healing and help for those in need She became ill and died at age 24 on the day before Holy Thursday Her final words were the simple prayer, “Jesus, I love you” I have given myself to Jesus… “I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. With the work of my hands, I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I’ll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure.” St. Kateri Tekakwitha In 2000, a baby boy, named Jake, was born to Don and Elsa Finkbonner, who lived in Fernwater in Washington State. Jake’s father, Don, was a member of the Lummi Tribe. Like Kateri, Jake Finkbonner became very ill. Jake got a very bad infection from a cut lip. Jake’s doctors believed he would die. People began to pray and ask Blessed Kateri Tekakwith to join in prayer to help Jake be healed. The infection stopped and Jake recovered! Healed through the Power of Prayer In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI declared that Jake’s healing was a miracle! Over the centuries, many people reported physical healings because of the intercession of Kateri. On October 21, 2012, Kateri Tekakwitha will be canonized as the first Native American Saint. Jake and his family will be there! St. Kateri is considered to be the patron saint for the care of the environment, and for those who have lost their parent. What do you think we can learn from St. Kateri? Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha O God, who, among the many marvels of your grace in the New World, did cause to blossom on the banks of the Mohawk and of the Saint Lawrence, the pure and tender Lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, grant we beseech you, the favor we beg through her intercession; that this Young Lover of Jesus and of his cross may soon be counted among her saints by Holy Mother Church, and that our hearts may be enkindled with a stronger desire to imitate her innocence and faith. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.