News Detail
St. Kateri Tekakwitha was the first Native American to be canonized a saint in the Catholic Church.
The Feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha

July 14, 2015 — Today is the feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be made a saint. 

Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 in Ossernenon (now Auriesville), a Mohawk village in upstate New York. Her father was a Mohawk chief, and her Catholic mother was a member of the Algonquin nation.

When she was a child, a smallpox epidemic decimated most of her village and family. St. Kateri survived the outbreak but would suffer from poor eyesight and ill health the rest of her life. Orphaned by the disease, she would be raised by members of her non-Catholic father’s family.

A first-degree relic (a piece of bone) from St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Courtesy of Fr. Peter Schineller, SJ.
She was deeply moved by the preaching of the Jesuits who traveled among the villages and was baptized at age 20. St. Kateri dedicated her life to prayer, penance, caring for the sick and infirm and adoration of the Eucharist. In 1677, she began a 200-mile trek to a Jesuit mission in Canada where she could more openly practice her faith. Her health continued to deteriorate, and she died on April 17, 1680, at age 24. Her last reported words were: “Jesus! Mary! I love you.”

Pope Pius XII declared her venerable in 1943, the first step toward sainthood. Pope John Paul II beatified Kateri, known as the Lily of the Mohawks, in 1980. Pope Benedict XVI approved the miracle needed for sainthood on December 19, 2011, citing her intervention in the recovery of a young boy in Washington who was gravely ill from flesh-eating bacteria. Pope Benedict announced on February 18, 2012, that Kateri would be canonized and welcomed into the communion of saints on October 21, 2012.

For more information on St. Kateri and the Jesuit martyrs, visit www.martyrshrine.org. [Source: Northeast Jesuits





Recent News


June 11, 2019 — Camille Naughton has been named the second president of Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit, which was founded in 2013.

June 6, 2019 — Jesuit brothers go wherever they are needed and do whatever needs to be done, as “Bros” to their fellow Jesuits, and as “Bros” to all of us looking to find God in all things.

May 31, 2019 — Jesuits West helped hold one of the largest for-profit prison/detention center operators in the U.S. accountable.

May 21, 2019 — A new photo book, “Walking in Grace,” by Alison Fogg Carlson, commemorates 30 years of Homeboy Industries, founded by Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ.

May 17, 2019 — On May 11, two Canadian Jesuits were ordained to the priesthood and five Jesuits to the diaconate at St. Paul's Basilica in Toronto.

May 15, 2019 — Arrupe College celebrates the success of its first graduating class completing their bachelor’s degrees.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 2/18/19

America 2/4/19

America 1/21/19



Sioux Spiritual Center
The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.