AURIESVILLE, N.Y. - For more than 300 years, generations of faithful Catholics have prayed for the sainthood of Kateri Tekakwitha. On Sunday, Oct. 21, they'll celebrate her canonization.
At the age of 4, smallpox swept through the village, killing her parents, scarring her face and nearly taking her sight.
Isolated because of her scars, Kateri lived a life of quiet suffering, prayer and intense devotion to the Eucharist. Her life ended at only 24, in Canada. She died of exposure from carrying out her extensive prayer and penance outdoors in the cold northern weather.
Upon her death, witnesses say, the scars that marred her complexion from childhood were wiped from her face.
In 1980, she became the first Mohawk Indian to be beatified by the Roman Catholic church, but to reach sainthood, two miracles attributed to the candidate's intercession are required. Scores of healings and other divine acts have been credited to Kateri over the years.
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