Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saints of the States

Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha
A 17th-century Native American woman who cared for the sick and elderly, and a Catholic nun who worked with lepers in Hawaii, are on the verge of becoming the newest American saints, after Pope Benedict XVI certified miracles due to their intercession, the Vatican announced Monday (Dec 19).

Here's an inspiring tale concerning Blessed Kateri's latest miracle:

Kateri's supporters submitted evidence of miracles but believed Kateri's chances of sainthood died with Pope John Paul, who bestowed sainthood on more people than all other popes combined.
Jake Finkbonner with his mother in front of a statue of Bl. Kateri
Then, in 2006, a 6-year-old boy cut his lip during a basketball game in Washington state.
Overnight, Jake Finkbonner's face swelled up and he developed a high fever, according to an NPR report. Doctors at Seattle Children's Hospital said a flesh-eating bacterium called Strep A was attacking the boy's face. Over the next few weeks, it destroyed his lips, cheeks and forehead. Doctors told the family the boy was going to die.
The family's priest asked his congregation to pray to Kateri on Jake's behalf. The priest chose Kateri because of her facial scars and Indian heritage – Jake is half Lummi Indian.
The prayers started coming in from around the world, and a representative from the Society of the Blessed Kateri went to the hospital to place a pendant of Kateri on the boy's pillow. The next day, the infection stopped progressing and Jake recovered.
Investigators from the Vatican researched the incident for three years, and on Monday, Pope Benedict approved it as a miracle attributed to Kateri's intervention.