July 14th is the feast of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, an Algonquin-Mohawk woman. She is colloquially known as the Lily of the Mohawks. Saint Kateri became Catholic at the age of nineteen and at her baptism she was named Catherine after Saint Catherine of Siena.
Saint Kateri was a holy woman and she is special for us because she is a saint of the Americas. We in the United States need to ask Saint Kateri to help us to recognize and acknowledge our part in the genocide of native peoples. It is a sad chapter in our history that calls for reconciliation.
With repentance and sorrow, we pray for healing from our negative evaluations of those who are different. Today, our prejudice is slamming our national borders shut against refugees and immigrants, perpetuating racial violence, labeling and profiling people with brown skin, and supporting systematic white supremacy.
We need a saint like Saint Kateri who can remind us about her peoples’ mystic relationship with nature as sacred and help us care for earth, our common home. Saint Kateri can help us move toward becoming one loving, global family of humanity.
Photo: St. Kateri Tekawitha by Wally Gobetz / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0