About Kateri

Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified June 22, 1980 by Pope John Paul 11 who died in 2005 and was made Blessed in 2010.  Though generally, one miracle is needed for the second stage toward sainthood, he waived the miracle, declaring that “Kateri’s life was a miracle!” However, for the final step which is “canonization,” the Church adamantly required that a miracle from Heaven occur, through Kateri’s intercession.  The beatification event in Rome was a glorious event where Native Americans gathered to witness their saintly maiden receive the honors of the altar.  The enthusiasm which followed from Rome to home, spread its wings in a resurgence of devotion, caressing every aspect of society with unbelievable magnitude!

After Kateri became Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Kateri devotees throughout the world began praying for her canonization, however, years passed, one by one, during which time, many cases of miracles were sent to the Vatican but none were accepted.  Our Osage Indian friend, would say, “We must be patient… Kateri is on Indian time!”  Thirty-two years went by since Kateri’s beatification in 1980, during which time, Pope John Paul 11 was crowned Blessed.  We asked, “From Heaven, would this saintly Pope nudge God to bring about the miracle needed to make Kateri’s canonization a reality?”  The unbelievable happened on Dec. 19, 2011, when Pope Benedict XVI put his official approval on the miracle needed to make Blessed Kateri… Saint Kateri!The date set for the Canonization is: October 21, 2012.

The miracle involved a little six year old Native American boy, Jacob Finkbonner who had a flesh eating bacteria which ate away his face up to his eyes, when, our friend, Sr. Kateri Mitchell, SSA, a Mohawk nun, and Executive Director of the Tekakwitha Conference (an annual event), gave a first class relic of Kateri to the priest to place on little Jacob’s face at the time, the sacrament of the last rites was being administered to him.  The family and friends who had been praying to Blessed Kateri for a miracle, then witnessed one!  Little Jacob Finkbonner was miraculously HEALED!  The ever vigilant Vatican Medical team of seven doctors who investigated the case, prudently waited five years to see if the bacteria would return… it  never did!  During the five year duration, Jacob underwent multiple plastic facial surgeries to restore the horribly disfigured face.  Interestingly, Kateri’s face was marked with deep pockmarks as a result of smallpox, which  took the lives of her entire family!  It was obvious that she had compassion for little Jacob!  The Vatican Medical Board concluded that Jacob’s case was hopeless and could not be explained medically or scientifically… indeed, it was a Kateri MIRACLE!

Passing the theological stage after a thorough investigation, determining that the participants ONLY prayed to Kateri, the Jacob Finkbonner case was given official approval by Pope Benedict XVI, December 2011, marking a monumental leap in the history of the Catholic Church!  Tremors of excitement reverberated throughout the world for finally, God granted to the Native Americans, their very own saint! ……………St. Kateri Tekakwitha!!