USCCB Evangelization And Catechesis Offers ‘Ten American Saints For The Year Of Faith’

October 15, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—To honorthe fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentiethanniversary of the Catechism of theCatholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI has announced a Year of Faith, startingOctober 11 and ending November 24, 2013, meant to strengthen the faith ofCatholics and draw the world to faith by their example. Pope Benedict hasencouraged Catholics to study the lives of the saints as part of the Year ofFaith in order to follow their example.

Jeannine Marino, program specialistfor the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis of the U.S. Conference ofCatholic Bishops (USCCB) offers "10 American Saints for the Year of Faith" tohelp Catholics learn about the lives of the saints and to appreciate thehistory of the Catholic faith in America. Marino is a canon lawyer who hasserved as a postulator and advisor to several canonization causes. A postulatorconducts research into the life of a proposed saint.

Two saint from the list, MarianneCope, OSF and Kateri Tekakwitha, will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI onOctober 21. Here is the full list:

1. St. Isaac Jogues, SJ, a missionary and one of the North Americanmartyrs, traveled from France to the new world shortly after his ordination. In1641, he and his companions were captured by the Iroquois, who tortured andkilled most of them. He was killed with a tomahawk in 1646 and canonized in1930.

2. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, MSC, the first U.S. citizen to becanonized, came to the United States as a missionary from Italy. She foundedthe Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and, over 35 years, startedsix institutions for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. She diedin 1917 and is the patron saint of immigrants.

3. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, SC, the first native-born U.S. citizen tobe canonized, was left poor and widowed with five children. She converted toCatholicism and founded the first order of religious women in America, theSisters of Charity of St. Joseph. She was cofounder of the first free Catholicschool in America and is considered the founder of the Catholic school systemin the United States. She died in 1821.

4. St. John Neumann, CSsR, a Redemptorist priest, was the fourthbishop of Philadelphia from 1852 till his death in 1860. A native of Bohemia,he followed his vocation to New York City and, at the time of his ordination,was one of only 36 priests serving 200,000 Catholics. He founded the firstdiocesan Catholic school system in the United States, growing the number ofschools in his diocese from two to 100.

5. St. Katharine Drexel, SBS, a wealthy, educated young woman fromPhiladelphia with a deep sympathy for the poor, gave up everything to become amissionary to the Indians and African Americans. She founded the Sisters of theBlessed Sacrament and started numerous schools and missions for Native andAfrican Americans. She died at the age of 96 in 1955 and was canonized in 2000.

6. St. Mother Théodore Guérin, SP, founder of the Sisters of Providenceof St. Mary-of-the-Woods, was asked to leave France and lead a small band ofmissionary sisters to Indiana. When the sisters arrived, there was only a logcabin with a porch that served as a chapel. By the time she died in 1856, she andher community had opened schools in Illinois and throughout Indiana. She wascanonized in 2006.

7. St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ, a missionary to NativeAmericans, traveled to the Louisiana Territory from France in 1818, where sheand other members of the Society of the Sacred Heart carried out theirmissionary work. She opened the first free school for girls west of theMississippi River, as well as the first Catholic school for Native Americans.She was known among the Pottowami Indians as the "Woman Who Prays Always."

8. St. Damien de Veuster of Molokai, SSCC, missionary to the lepers ofMolokai, Hawaii, was born in Belgium in 1840 to a poor farmer and his wife. At19, he entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Hisolder brother, also a priest in the congregation, had offered to minister tothe lepers on the island of Molokai but fell ill and couldn't go. Damienvolunteered to take his place and offered to stay in the leper colonypermanently, building schools, churches, hospitals and coffins. He contracted leprosyhimself but continued to serve the mission until his death in 1889.

9. St. Marianne Cope, OSF, another missionary to the lepers ofMolokai, joined the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in her teensand served in leadership roles including novice mistress of her congregationand superior of St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse. She became a leader in thefield of health care, often caring for those considered outcasts, which led herto volunteer in Hawaii. In Hawaii she cared for women and girls suffering fromleprosy, providing them with an education. She died in 1918.

10. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as the Lily of the Mohawks, convertedat the age of 19, heedless of the anger of her relatives. Because she refusedto work on Sundays, she was denied meals that day in the Mohawk village.Finally, a missionary encouraged her to run away to Montreal, where shepracticed her faith freely and lived a life of extreme prayer and penance,taking a vow of virginity. She died in 1680.

More information on American saintsand holy men and women for the Year of Faith is available online: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/year-of-faith/saints-for-the-year-of-faith.cfm

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Keywords: Year of Faith, saints,Jeannine Marino, Evangelization and Catechesis, Kateri Tekakwitha, MarianneCope, Damien of Molokai, Rose Philippine Duchesne, Mother Théodore Guérin,Katharine Drexel, John Neumann, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Frances Xavier Cabrini,Isaac Jogues, missionary, schools, martyr

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