ON MONDAY, JUNE 14, the Church celebrate Kateri Tekakwitha, who I believe was the first American woman saint. She was born around 1656 in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon, now Auriesville, New York. She lost her parents and brother in a small pox epidemic at the age of four. From her youth, she evinced and interior innocence, refusing her relatives attempts to arrange a marriage. She embraced the faith at the age of twenty and entered the Jesuit mission at Sault Saint Louis near Montreal. There, Kateri devoted herself to good works and praying for her fellow Mohawks. At the age of twenty-three she made a public vow of perpetual virginity. Kateri died of illness in 1680. Fifteen minutes after her death, her pockmarked face grew clear and luminous.

PRAYER: O GOD OF ALL NATIONS, you called Saint Kateri to a life of prayer and to witness to the intensity of love committed to Jesus Christ. Through her example and intercession, inspire many young men and women to follow your Son even when he leads them away from familiar surroundings by the beauty of the Gospel. We make our prayer in his name, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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