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January 24
1888 - Acton post office established; Richard E. Nickel, postmaster [story]
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Young parishioners celebrate St. Kateri (pictured) at the local church on her feast day in 2010. Photo: St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church in Santa Clarita is now Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the canonization of the 17th-century Iroquois woman Sunday in St. Peter’s Square before a crowd of 80,000. She becomes the first native American saint.

According to the Vatican press office, the pope addressed the “life and example” of seven new saints in his homily. He looked to St. Kateri for the “renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America.”

Kateri was born in 1656 in modern-day New York to a Mohawk father and Christian Algonquin mother. Baptised at 20, she faced persecution and fled to Canada where she made a vow of chastity and dedicated her live to prayer, penance, and care for the sick and elderly. She died in 1680 at age 24 and her last words were, “Jesus, I love you.” According to tradition, numerous sick people who participated in her funeral were miraculously healed.

The process of canonizing her began in 1884. She was declared venerable by Pius XII in 1943 and beatified by John Paul II in 1980. Her feast day falls on July 14.

The Santa Clarita parish church is located at 22508 Copper Hill Drive.

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1 Comment

  1. timothy canezaro says:

    It is so great that Kateri is now honored as a Saint. She calls to many and many hear her. Oh Saint Kateri please help our children and elderly, our sick and addicted, our lost brothers and sisters, pray for us! On our reservations, small towns, and big cities, pray for us! Good people and bad, christian catholic or traditional, pray for us!
    Many blessings to all those that belong to Saint Kateri Church in Santa Clarita. Mitakuye Oyacin

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