Theresa Steele, an Algonquin
woman, sings the Blessing of the Four Directions, a popular Native American
invocation, at the start of the feast-day Mass.
For many years, American Catholics who wanted
literally to follow in the footsteps of a saint had to travel to Europe. In Assisi,
they could step where St. Francis did. In Ireland, they might walk the byways
of St. Patrick. It wasn’t until the late-20th-century canonizations of Sister
Elizabeth Ann Seton, born in New York
City in 1774, and Sister Katharine Drexel, born in Philadelphia in 1858, that
Americans finally had the opportunity to stay in the country when visiting
places where U.S.-born saints lived and worked.
But the Big Apple and the City
of Brotherly Love have changed significantly since the 18th and 19th centuries.
In contrast, a virtually unspoiled place trod by a saint lies in upstate New York, thanks to the
October 21 canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, who walked and prayed in what is
now the central part of the Empire
State. In her time, it
was the land of the Mohawks.
Thank you for your comments. Editors will review all posts before they are visible on the website.