07/14/2022 – St Kateri Tekakwitha
In almost every image of St Kateri Tekakwitha she is depicted with a rosary, usually in her hands. This is for good reason. From the time of her baptism it was rarely out of her hands.
Kateri first learned of Jesus and Mary from her mother, a Catholic Algonquin indian. Her father was a Mohawk chief and would not allow Kateri and her brother to be baptised. Kateri was left orphaned, visually impaired and scarred by smallpox at age 4.
Because of her condition she was the brunt of much mockery.
Kateri encountered the faith again through the example of visiting Jesuit missionaries and Catholic Indians. She was deeply impressed by their goodness and the story of a loving God that they brought. She sought to emulate them, praying like them (rosary), keeping Sundays and even secretly vowing her virginity. All this brought more persecution.
She was finally baptised at 19. Shortly after, the situation became so threatening that she was forced to escape to a Christian village 200 miles away.
For her this village was a paradise. All the inhabitants were striving to learn and live the faith that they had suffered so much for. Kateri was able to attend Mass, Rosary and Benediction with her village daily. Beyond this she lived a life of contemplation in constant prayer, penance and works of great kindness. It is in these last five years that she was rarely seen without her rosary not just on her person but in her hands and on her lips. For her it was the gospels, it was the line to heaven and to her Sweet Jesus who she loved.