AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week It could be hundreds of years before that day comes. Meanwhile, Slattery, and the Santa Clarita church named after the woman, pray for her. In fact there are circles of Kateri supporters nationwide doing the same. “It’s in God’s own time,” said Slattery, pastor of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church. “We don’t have control over that.” Born in 1656 to an Algonquin mother and Mohawk father, she was called Tekakwitha, a name that means she who moves forward, according to church literature. Four years later, smallpox consumed her family, killing her parents and scarring the young child, who also was partially blinded by the disease. During her teen years, Tekakwitha learned about Christianity and later converted to Catholicism despite protests from her village. She received the name Kateri, after her baptism in 1676. Later she fled from persecution to a mission outside Montreal where she treated the sick. She died at age 24 in 1680. Those by her bedside reportedly said that after she passed on, the smallpox scars faded from her face. She was buried in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, near Montreal. Becoming a saint is a three-part process and starts when a person is recognized for practicing a lifetime of virtues, such as faith, hope and charity, said Tod Tamberg, director of media relations for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. That level is called venerable. Kateri Tekakwitha was declared venerable in 1943 by Pope Pius XII. The second step is beatification, and the title blessed is attached to the person’s name. It comes after the first miracle. Kateri was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II, a few years after a hearing-impaired boy could suddenly hear again. The child had lost his hearing from an infection, and it was restored on the anniversary date of Kateri Tekakwitha’s baptism. She’s the first American Indian to be considered for sainthood. “When you finally get to the canonization of a person, literally the recognition that that person is in heaven with God, that’s the recognition of what God has already done,” Tamberg said. Meanwhile, parishioners at the Copper Hill Drive church will keep the woman in their prayers, especially today for All Saints Day, a celebration of saints’ virtues. On Monday, children in the parish dressed up as their favorite saints and attended afternoon services. Sue Doyle, (661) 257-5254 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAUGUS – A calendar with pictures of saints hangs on a wall inside the church, and the Rev. Michael Slattery points at their faces, telling their stories. This one was executed because she was born Jewish. Another was beheaded because he didn’t agree with King Henry VIII’s thinking, Slattery said Monday as he peered over the top of his glasses at their small pictures. The poster lists a saint for every day of the year, but there’s another person that Slattery and his parish hope will someday also make the cut – Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. The 17th-century woman is a step away from sainthood. The New York native is attributed with one miracle but needs another before she can be canonized, a Vatican-based process that determines sainthood.
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