WASHINGTON—Next week,Pope Benedict XVI willcanonize seven saints including two Americans: Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, thefirst Native American saint, and Blessed Mother Marianne Cope, who spent thelast 30 years of her life ministering to the sick on the Hawaiian island ofMolokai.
The canonization Masswill take place at the Vatican October 21.
"Kateri'slife is a witness not only to the cost of discipleship – she bore a great dealof suffering for her faith among her own people – but also to its fruitfulness,"said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia, chairman of theof the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on NativeAmerican Affairs. "She reminds us that Jesus came for all people in every age,but especially for the lowly, whom God loves in a special way."
BlessedKateri Tekakwitha, of Algonquinand Mohawk descent, is also known as the "Lily of the Mohawks." She was born in1656, became an orphan as a child and was raised by her uncle, the chief of theMohawk village. A smallpox epidemic left her eyesight impaired and her facescarred for life. Despite the anger of her relatives, Kateri was drawn to thefaith by the teachings of missionary priests. She ran away to Montreal, Canada,where she practiced her faith with freedom.
BlessedMarianne Cope joined the Sisters of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York, in1862.She became a leader in the field ofhealthcare, often caring for those considered "outcasts," which then led her tovolunteer in the Hawaiian island of Molokai where she took care of the lepersand the poor.
"WhileMother Marianne was most noted for her selfless and cheerful work with leprosypatients in Hawaii, it should also be noted that the majority of people sheserved were Hawaiians," said Bishop Clarence Silva of Honolulu, a member of USCCB'sSubcommittee on Asian Pacific Island Affairs. "In this Year of Faith, we thankGod for these beautiful models of women who embraced the sufferings of life andwho nevertheless exuded great joy because they were so in love with Jesus."
Amongother saints to be canonized is martyr Pedro Calungsod of the Philippines, alay catechist who suffered religious persecution.
Asmany as 4,000 pilgrims from at least 15 dioceses and archdioceses around thenation are expected to attend the canonization events. The largest pilgrimagesare being organized by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and TekakwithaConference, and the dioceses of Syracuse and Albany in New York, and Honolulu,Hawaii.
The canonization Masswill be aired October 21, from 3:30-6:30 a.m. EDT on EWTN, and it will be rerunat 11a.m. EDT.
More information on these saints canbe found at: https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/new-saints.cfm
Keywords: canonization, saint, Kateri Tekakwitha, MotherMarianne Cope, Pope Benedict XVI, Rome, pilgrims, pilgrimages, Syracuse,Albany, Honolulu, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop Larry Silva
# # # # #MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Norma Montenegro-FlynnO: 202-541-3202Email
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