Along with 6 others, Kateri Tekawitha was raised to the altar today by none other than the Holy Father himself. Kateri was a member of the Mohawk nation. She was baptized when she was 20 years old. She died at age 24. From the time of her baptism until her death, she worked at St. Francis Xavier Mission near Montréal, Canada.
It is precisely because Christ seeks to make us who God created and redeemed us to be that the only way we can really follow Him, be His disciples, is to be fully ourselves, which is why in his homily at today's Canonization Mass, BXVI said,
Kateri impresses us by the action of grace in her life in spite of the absence of external help and by the courage of her vocation, so unusual in her culture. In her, faith and culture enrich each other! May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are. Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first native American saint, we entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America! May God bless the first nations!Too often we make mistake being faithful to conforming ourselves to a faulty idea of what it means to be holy. Despite all of the cookie-cutter hagiographies of yesteryear, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more diverse group of people than the saints.
St. Kateri Tekawitha, pray for us!