Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680)

for July 14

Kateri Tekakwitha, born in present-day Auriesville, New York, to a Christian Algonquin mother and a non-Christian Mohawk chief, was the first Native American to be canonized. When she was four, smallpox killed her parents and younger brother and left her disfigured and partially blind. She met Christian missionaries in later childhood, and through their influence was baptized in 1676. Her new way of life made it difficult to remain in her village, so she walked two hundred miles to live in a Christian village near Montreal. Having made a vow not to marry, she led a life of prayer, fasting, teaching, and service until her death at age twenty-four. Kateri surely had the gifts of wisdom and courage. She once said: "I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I’ll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure" (Saint of the Day, page 154). Her feast day is July 14. (Taken from "The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth: Third Edition.")

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Kateri once said, "I am not my own: I have given myself to Jesus." Do you live your life for Jesus, or do you live your life selfishly? Spend a few quiet minutes with the Lord. Ask him to help you do his will.


God of good news, you know that I want to do your will and that it is not always easy. I know you will both forgive me and help me do better if I acknowledge my sin. For this I praise you and thank you. (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)