Shrine in Bensalem celebrates canonization of Native American saint

    Pope Benedict XVI will canonize seven Catholic saints — including two Americans — at the Vatican Sunday.

    St. Kateri Tekakwitha will be the first Native American saint.

    While many churches host celebrations for the event, the St. Katharine Drexel National Shrine in Bensalem will have one specifically for Saint Kateri.

    Shrine director Sister Pat Downs says the shrine was chosen because of Drexel’s work with Native Americans.

    “Mother Katharine, I’m sure, is excited about it in heaven,” she said. “It’s our connection with the Native American communities, and also Mother Katharine dedicated her life and the Drexel fortune to building up missions among the Native American people.

    Chief Buffy Red Feather Brown from the Cherokee Nation says it’s a great day of celebration for her tribe and everyone who prayed for St. Kateri’s canonization.

    Known as Lily of the Mohawks, St. Kateri lived from 1656 to 1680.

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