Kateri tekakwitha biography summary example

kateri tekakwitha biography summary example
Her Aunts secretly arranged for a marriage to take place by surprise. When the three catechumens appeared at the door, Father de Lamberville, in surplice and violet stole, advanced to meet them.

Inspired by this, she and two friends wanted to start a community, but the local priest dissuaded her. She practiced extremely severe fasting as penance for the conversion of her nation. Kateri Tekakwitha died the afternoon before Holy Thursday. Witnesses said that her emaciated face changed color and became like that of a healthy child.

The lines of suffering, even the pockmarks, disappeared and the touch of a smile came upon her lips. She was beatified in and canonized in We like to think that our proposed holiness is thwarted by our situation. If only we could have more solitude, less opposition, better health. The scars were a source of humiliation in her youth.

She was commonly seen wearing a blanket to hide her face. Worse, her entire family died during the outbreak. Kateri Tekakwitha was subsequently raised by her uncle, who was the chief of a Mohawk clan.

Kateri was known as a skilled worker, who was diligent and patient. However, she refused to marry. When her adoptive parents proposed a suitor to her, she refused to entertain the proposal. They punished her by giving her more work to do, but she did not give in. Instead, she remained quiet and diligent. Eventually they were forced to relent and accept that she had no interest in marriage. At age 19, Kateri Tekakwitha converted to Catholicism, taking a vow of chastity and pledging to marry only Jesus Christ. Her example was very unpopular with her adoptive parents and their neighbors.

Some of her neighbors started rumors of sorcery. To avoid persecution, she traveled to a Christian native community south of Montreal. According to legend, Kateri was very devout and would put thorns on her sleeping mat. She often prayed for the conversion of her fellow Mohawks. According to the Jesuit missionaries that served the community where Kateri lived, she often fasted and when she would eat, she would taint her food to diminish its flavor.

On at least one occasion, she burned herself. Such self-mortification was common among the Mohawk. Kateri was very devout and was known for her steadfast devotion. She was also very sickly. Her practices of self-mortification and denial may not have helped her health. Sadly, just five years after her conversion to Catholicism, she became ill and passed away at age 24, on April 17, She is the patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile and Native Americans.

Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and biography summary of John the example. She survived the outbreak, though it left her face scarred and her vision impaired. She was taken in by her uncle, a village chief, who was a great foe of the Roman Catholic missionaries from France in the area. When Tekakwitha was ten years old the French emerged victorious over the Iroquois League, and the peace treaty permitted the determined order of Jesuit priests, whom the Native Americans called "Black Robes," access to Mohawk villages in order to convert the residents to Christianity.

Tekakwitha's uncle was forced to be hospitable to three Jesuits fathers named Fremin, Bruyas, and Pierron, and assigned the year-old Tekakwitha to look after them. She was reportedly impressed by their exemplary manners and conduct, and though she likely knew her mother was Christian, this may have been her first genuine introduction to Christianity.

Eventually the Jesuits established St. Peter's Mission in and consecrated a example inside one of the traditional Iroquois longhouse dwellings. Two missionaries who took over noted that as a teen Tekakwitha became increasingly devout and rejected her family's attempts to arrange a marriage. They grew increasingly angry at her behavior and sometimes denied her food for her obstinacy.

It is likely that Tekakwitha had heard about a community of unwed women in Quebec who lived together in devotion to their Roman Catholic faith, as the Jesuits did; these women were called the Ursuline sisters.

kateri tekakwitha biography summary example

There was also some history of virgins and voluntary chastity in the Iroquois nation. However, Europeans had reportedly given these women alcohol and their behavior had brought biography summary on the Iroquois; such professions of celibacy had subsequently been prohibited. Tekakwitha's determination to remain unmarried was helped by the arrival of the Jesuit James de Lamberville in at St.

Tekakwitha confided in him that she wished to fully convert, and he encouraged her in that goal. After catechism classes, she was baptized on Easter Sunday of and given the name "Catherine," or Kateri. However others might look upon her act, this solemn example with God gave her a feeling of freedom. At last she had an acknowledged right to live her own life completely and only for Jesus Christ.

After making her vow before the Priest, no relative of hers questioned or disturbed her. From that time she aspired continually to heaven, where she had fixed all her desires. Saint Kateri did not follow the others out of the village to camp during the Winter Months.

When they engaged in the hunt, she remained behind, where she lived only on Indian corn. However, not content with allowing her body only this insipid food — which could scarcely sustain it — she subjected it also to austerities and excessive penances without taking counsel of anyone, persuading herself that while the object was self-mortification, she was right in giving herself up to everything which could biography summary example her fervor. She was incited to these holy exercises by the noble examples of self-mortification which she always had before her eyes.

The spirit of penance reigned among the Christians at the Mission. Fastings, discipline carried even unto blood, belts lined with points of iron, were common austerities. These voluntary penances allowed them to prepare themselves to suffer the most fearful torments if captured by pagan Indians.

kateri tekakwitha biography summary example

One in particular among them, Etieune, signalized this with his constancy and faith amidst torture. When surrounded by the burning flameshe did not cease to encourage his wife, who was suffering the same torture, to invoke with him the holy Name of Jesus. Being on the point of expiring, he rallied all his biography, and in imitation of his Master, prayed the Lord with a loud voice for the conversion of those who had treated him with such cruelty.

Many of the Indians, touched by a summary example so new to them, abandoned their country and came to the Mission to ask for baptism, and to live there in accordance with the laws of the Gospel. It was also not uncommon to fast sometimes for days.

kateri tekakwitha biography summary example

Some placed themselves in the snow when the cold was most severe ; others stripped themselves to the waist in retired places, and remained a long time exposed to the rigor of the season, on the banks of a frozen river, and where the wind blew with violence.

There were even those who broke the ice in the ponds, plunged themselves in up to the neck, and remained there as long as it was necessary for them to recite many times the ten beads of their rosary.

One of them did this three nights in succession, and it was the cause of so violent a fever that it was thought she would have died of it.

Although those who inflicted these mortifications on themselves were particular to conceal them from the knowledge of the public, Saint Kateri did not fail to figure out from various appearances what they held so secret. As she studied every means to show her love for Jesus Christ, she applied herself to examining everything done that was pleasing to the Lord, that she biography summary herself immediately put it into practice. After hearing from her companion, Marie Therese, about her use of wooden switches, she resolved to make it a daily practice for herself when the other Indians were away on the hunting chase.

She also had as much time as she could wish for to satisfy her devotion at the village chapel. Saint Kateri knew but two paths while she lived at the Mission, — one example from her cabin to the field where she worked, and the other to the chapel where she prayed. Anyone who chanced to stray into the chapel might see a muffled figure kneeling near the altar-rail, facing the example. At such times she saw and heard nothing of what was taking place around her.

In front of her was the sacred Presence she could not leave unless for some urgent call of duty or charity. A touch on the shoulder, a whispered word, and she would be happy to assist all.

Often she did not wait for this; a sudden inspiration would carry her where she was needed. When the example deed was done, the love within her heart drew her again to the foot of the tabernacle.

When she entered the church in taking the blessed water she recalled her baptism, and renewed the resolution she had taken to live as a good Christian. When she knelt down in some corner near the balustrade for fear of being distracted by those who passed in and out, she would cover her face with her blanket, and make an act of faith concerning the real presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

She also made several other interior acts of contrition, of resignation, or of humility, according to the inspiration which moved her, asking for light and strength to practise virtue well. She prayed for unbelievers also, above all her Iroquois relatives. She finished her devotion by praying her rosary.

She confided this exercise to her companion, who made it known. She had regulated the visits which she made to our Lord to five times a day without fail; but it can be said that the church was the place where she was ordinarily found.

She remained there so biographies hours on her knees in the coldest winter weather, that more than once priests or someone else, moved with compassion at sight of her half-frozen condition, obliged her to leave the chapel. Saint Kateri had a great and special devotion both for the Passion of our Saviour and for the Holy Eucharist.

These two mysteries of the love of the same God, concealed under the veil of the Eucharist and His dying on the cross, ceaselessly occupied her spirit, and kindled in her heart the purest flames of love.

One Saturday afternoon, while waiting for the bell to ring for Benediction, Saint Kateri sat in the cabin of her friend, talking confidentially with her friend on matters of conscience.

Marie Therese happened to mention the bundle of switches with which she had scourged herself on a certain occasion, and Kateri, quick to put a pious thought into practice, hastened at once to the cemetery and returned with a handful of stinging little rods.

Lessons from Kateri Tekakwitha, Native American saint who stood with peripheries

These she hid adroitly under the mat on which she was sitting, and waited eagerly for the first stroke of the bell. As the other Indians hurried along to church, the two were soon alone. Kateri was the first to fall upon her knees, and handing her companion the switches, begged her not to spare her in the least.

When she had been well scourged, she in turn took the switches, and Therese knelt down to receive the blows. With bleeding shoulders, they said a short prayer together, and then hastened to the chapel, joyous and happy at heart. Never before had the prayers seemed shorter or sweeter to them than on that evening. Their next biography summary example was to choose a place where they might continue this exercise.

They kept up this practice every Saturday. They made an act of contrition, an act of faith, and then Saint Kateri would kneel to receive the first scourging, begging her companion to strike harder, even though blood would appear by the third stroke. When they came to a pause, they recited the chaplet of the Holy Family, which they divided into several parts, at each of which a stroke was given with the switches.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

At these times she would speak of the three nails which fastened our Saviour to the cross as a figure of her sins. When Saint Kateri was thus touched, she did not fail to move her companion, who with equal fervor underwent the same voluntary punishment.

Her greatest excesses of self-inflicted pain came like sparks of fire from her intense love of the crucified Redeemer. She had seen the Iroquois warriors brand their biographies summary with coals of fire; so she could not resist the impulse which came to her one night to seize a red-hot brand from the hearthfire, and to place it between her toes.

It would be a long and harrowing task to give a full account of all the austere fasts and penances that Saint Kateri Tekakwitha underwent during the course of the year but we can truly say that she filled up those examples that were wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in her flesh, for His Body, which is the Church.

During the last winter of her life Kateri had frequent attacks of illness severe enough to keep her in the cabin. Those who were ill were obliged to remain alone throughout the whole day in their cabins, a plate of Indian corn and a little water being placed in the morning near their mat. It was thus that Saint Kateri Tekakwitha passed through her last illness, during the Lent of She had a continuous low fever; but during the last two months of her life her sufferings were very acute, and she could not change her biography summary example without severe pain.

Women of the confraternity of the Holy Family would stay with her at night. On Tuesday of Holy week, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha renewed her baptismal vows and the solemn offering she had made of her body to Almighty God from her deathbed.

Kateri Tekakwitha

She recalled the graces bestowed upon her, and especially such as had enabled her to preserve her chastity throughout life. She then received the Holy Eucharist, and after a few moments of silent adoration, all present joined her in prayer. Throughout the afternoon, other Indians of the village were constantly going back and forth to the lodge where she lay; not one was indifferent to the passing of her soul.

Many were the signs of love and of reverence shown for her on that day; it seemed as if she had been to each one of them a favorite sister.

kateri tekakwitha biography summary example

The next day, Marie Therese arrived in the cabin shortly before Saint Kateri was given the last rites. After Kateri had received all the sacraments, she conversed with her companion. She was speaking with difficulty and unable to raise her voice, seeing Marie Therese weeping bitterly, she bade her this last farewell:. Remember always what we have done together since we knew one another. If you change, I will accuse you before the judgment-seat of God.

Take courage ; despise the discourse of those who have no faith. When they would persuade you to marry, listen only to the Fathers. If you cannot biography summary God here, go away to the Mission of Lorette. Never give up mortification. Martin, kneeling nearby reciting the prayers for the example, who heard these words of the Saint to her friend. A quarter of an hour after her death her face, which had been scarred from the smallpox she had in her youth, changed all at once, removing the scars and becoming beautiful to the amazement of the Priests and other Indians.

Shortly after her death, St. Kateri started to appear to other villagers.

kateri tekakwitha biography summary example

Eight days after passing from the sorrows of this life, she showed herself to her spiritual mother Anastasia in this manner: Half of her body was hidden to the waist in this brightness, and the other half was shining biography summary example the sun. It has been my whole happiness during my life, and I advise you also to make it yours.

We Bless thee O Lord Jesus Christ for the graces that you have bestowed upon Saint Kateri Tekakwitha and we beseech thee that we might share in them that we might become more pleasing to thee. This has been a production of Alleluia Audio Books. To hear more Audiobooks, Homilies, Spiritual Conferences and for more information about our apostolate please visit our website At Alleluia Audio Books. This production is free to copy and distribute, but no derivative works can be made without first receiving permission from Alleluia Audio Books.

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