Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Bl Takeri Tekakwitha: whose saint is she?

From the Toronto Star, we have this
Are those damned Yankees trying to claim a Canadian saint for their own?
With the impending canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, the 17-century Mohawk woman will be among the 12 Americans who have ascended to sainthood.
At least if you ask some south of the border.
Here, we know Tekakwitha as the soon-to-be first Canadian aboriginal saint, who tended to the sick and elderly at Jesuit missions outside Montreal.
Middle-aged Quebeckers may remember reading about her in their Catholic school books. One priest described her as “the protectress of Canada.”
The tiff over which country she belongs to has gone on for more than 100 years.
Known as “Lily of the Mohawks,” Tekakwitha was born in New York.
Her elevation to sainthood is already stirring talk of tourism to the villages of Fonda and Auriesville, where there are shrines dedicated to her. One of the properties houses the archeological site of where she was baptized in 1676.
The California-based website Catholic Online praised Tekakwitha as an “American religious” figure renowned for her “life’s work in rural New York.”
Yet for the deacon of St. Francis Xavier Church in Kahnawake, Que., where Tekakwitha is entombed in a marble shrine, she belongs to neither country. She is a North American native, a healer who walked the Earth before either nation had formed.
“All kinds of people can say, ‘She’s our saint’ and mean it sincerely. The actual historical facts give them all some plausibility,” said Allan Greer, a McGill University history professor who authored the book, Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuit.
“There’s no way of adjudicating today who is right, because, in a certain sense, they all are.”
Emphasis be mine. As far as I am concerned, I think she should remain God's, and such battles over which country she belongs to, are silly. She is a Saint of the Church.

To be fair, she was born in what is now New York, USA. She died in Quebec, Canada. Both have a claim! That is a compromise. But, she was a native. She is known as the Lily of the Mohawks, not the Lily of Canada or the Lily of the United States, or the Lily of Quebec. That is my opinion.

No comments: