Monthly Archives: November 2012

First Native American Saint: Witness

You can go to USA Today to read an AP article about Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint. Kateri was beatified by Pope John Paul II and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on 10/21/2012.

The article covers in detail that her canonization has sparked both skepticism and pride. On the one hand, “Traditional Mohawks” worry that “Kateri’s sainthood could be used as a way to encourage Native Americans to eschew their ancestral values for Catholic dogma,” but on the other hand, the article also cites that many don’t think her sainthood is a contentious issue.

It will be interesting to see how this skepticism/pride develop in the upcoming years. I’m not Roman so I don’t have a clue what is coming down the sainthood pipeline, but I would imagine that other Native Americans are slated to be beatified, canonized, et cetera by Rome in the upcoming century. I don’t know the vesting particulars for someone to officially be recognized as a saint, but if the matriculation process has concluded for at least one Native American saint, then my assumption is that other Native Americans can’t be very far behind. Take that with a grain of salt, it being an ill-informed assumption by an outsider of Roman Catholicism.

What I do know is this. “Traditional Mohawks” should be worried. Jesus Christ is Lord, contra the traditional-religious-mythological views of the Mohawk/Iroquois League of Nations.

Traditional Mohawks should be worried, the Lord probably will use Rome’s sainthooding of Kateri to draw additional Mohawks to himself. God does, after all, use means, and church history is full of conversion stories attesting that God used godly Christians as means by which sinners were exposed to and heard the Gospel, repented and were drawn unto Christ the Redeemer (e.g., God used Saint Ambrose’s ministry to prepare Augustine for conversion).

Kateri is a witness to non-Christian Mohawks, other non-Christian Native Americans, and non-Christian Americans alike. Kateri is a witness that all of them need to to stop their foolish raging (Psalm 2:1), repent of their sins, and “Kiss the Son” and put their trust in Jesus Christ (Psalm 2:12).