Saints Marianne Cope of Molokai & Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks (莫霍克的百合花) | jy.catholic.org.hk

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Saints Marianne Cope of Molokai & Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks (莫霍克的百合花)

刊登日期: 2012.10.14
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  

As mentioned in an earlier article, Pope Benedict will canonize 7 saints on October 21, 2012, two of which will be Sts. Marianne and Kateri. I will write on the two this and next week.

St. Kateri, named after St. Catherine, was born in 1656 to a Catholic Algonquin(阿岡昆族)mother and a Mohawk(莫霍克族)father in the present state of New York. Kateri became an orphan in the year 1660, when the smallpox(天花)epidemic nearly destroyed the entire village, taking the lives of her parents and brother.

Kateri was then adopted by an uncle who had great hatred for the Christian people. The smallpox disease left Kateri with scarred skin and really terrible eyesight. Kateri moved to a new village with her uncle and his family.

After the smallpox epidemic had happened, they burned the old village and moved to Kahnawake (10 miles from Montreal, Quebec, Canada). It was in Kahnawake that Kateri saw for the first time the men they called the Blackrobes. The Blackrobes were the Catholic priests, also known as the Jesuits(耶穌會). Their job was to convert as many natives as they could into becoming Christian. For many years Kateri avoided the Blackrobes but watched with great interest as they did their work. Kateri secretly wished to be baptized a Christian but feared her uncle’s reaction, so she waited until she could no longer bear to be anything but a Christian.

On Easter in 1676, Kateri was baptized. She felt very close to God and spent many hours praying and talking to God. Over the next few years Kateri refused to marry, believing that she was married to God and no man could replace the Lord in her eyes and heart. Many people ridiculed her and her religious beliefs but Kateri would not be scared or threatened into leaving Christianity. She was very devoted to God and the Blackrobes. Kateri escaped from her uncle and the village one day to go north to learn more about Christianity, with the help of her brother-in-law and a Huron Indian.

Once she arrived at her destination, Kateri wanted to become a nun. The Blakrobes said that she was too young to do this, but Kateri proved to them that she was ready, and so they allowed her to become a sister of the mission. Kateri was very happy to spend her life as a servant of God.

As the years went on, Kateri became sick with another illness, tuberculosis (肺癆)had infected her making her weak and very ill. Over time, the disease took away all of Kateri’s strength and finally it took her life.

Kateri died on April 17, 1680 at the mission of Laprairie at the age of twenty-four. Those who were with her when she died said that Kateri’s scars disappeared and she became very beautiful. This was attributed as the first miracle for the cause of her canonization. Her remains are interred at St. Francis Xavier Mission at Kahnawake. This author has the privilege of offering Mass at the Church several times.

Since her death many miracles have been claimed due to her intercession. The second miracle officially attributed to her was the 2006 healing of five-year old Jake Finkbonner, when his parents prayed to her as the little boy's face was being eaten away alive from a vicious flesh-eating bacterium. He was cured and remains so today.

She is affectionately known as the Lily of the Mohawks (莫霍克的百合花).

This article is mainly taken from the web sites:

http://www.lily-of-the-mohawks.com/

http://digitaljournal.com/article/316478 - ixzz26k1btKAG

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