Showing posts from July, 2020

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was the first Native American canonized by the church. Her life was tragically short and filled with suffering, but the Lily of the Mohawks, as she is sometimes called, brought devotion that astounded those around her.

Lifetime: 1656-1680
Region: New York, USA; Kahnawake (near Montreal), Canada
Patronages: The environment; Native Americans; People in exile
Iconograpy: Lily; Turtle; Wooden cross
Feast Day: July 14
When Kateri was only 4, both her parents and her brother were killed by smallpox. Kateri herself also suffered from the disease, but survived, though her face bore permanent scars from it and her vision was damaged. She was sent to live with her aunt and uncle in another Mohawk village. 
Kateri was ostracized in her new village for her scars, and though her new family took care of her and helped her learn the skills expected of women in their village, Kateri had few friends and spent much of her time alone.
At 10, Kateri's new village was attacked by French …

St. Benedict of Nursia

When I was joining the Catholic church, I was torn between choosing as my confirmation saint either Benedict or Brigid. Each appealed to a different side of me: Brigid to hospitality, creativity, and love of nature, and Benedict to scholarship, work, and my desire for clear rules. I ended up choosing Brigid, but Saint Benedict is still very special to me. 

Lifetime: 480-543
Region: Roman empire (modern Italy)
Patronages: Students; Europe; Against poison
Iconograpy: Black robes; Book of the Rule; Raven
Feast Day: July 11
Like many saints, especially those in the early church, Benedict grew up wealthy and learned young that the things of the world couldn't bring lasting fulfillment. According to tradition, Benedict also had a twin sister, Saint Scholastica, though there is some debate as to whether they were actual twins or it was used more abstractly, as in "spiritual twins". 
While studying in the Roman equivalent of college, Benedict began to see the error of the ways he was b…

Ven. Augustus Tolton

In light of recent events, I wanted to add an extra bonus minifig this month. July 9 will be, if he becomes canonized, the feast day of Venerable Augustus Tolton, the first Black American to become a Catholic priest.

Lifetime: 1851-1897
Region: Chicago, Illinois
Patronages (presumed): Black Americans; Against racism; Freed slaves
Iconograpy: Broken chain; Cassock; Biretta
Feast Day: July 9
Augustus Tolton grew up a slave in Missouri. During the Civil War, his family escaped across the Mississippi River, making them all free people. However, that did not mean their lives would be free of the effects of racism. Quite the contrary; his entire life would be plagued by injustice because of the color of his skin. 

As Augustus grew up in Illinois, he joined the Catholic church through the school he attended. During his time in school, Augustus discerned a call to the priesthood. However, he was met with a huge barrier: no seminary in the United States would admit him because of his race. 
Instead, A…