October 21st, 2012
01:56 PM ET

Pope names first Native American saint

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) - Sunday was a big day for Catholics in North America. Thousands of miles away in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI named 17th century Mohawk Kateri Tekakwitha the first Native American saint.

Another newly named saint is Marianne Cope, a German-born woman who emigrated to the United States as a child, became a nun and went on to devote 30 years of her life helping lepers in Hawaii.

Their canonization, along with that of five other saints, was celebrated at a special Mass in St. Peter's Square Sunday morning.

"This is a great weekend for America in the Vatican, and it's really a great weekend for Native Americans. Sainthood is the guarantee that this person is close to God," said Vatican senior communications adviser Greg Burke.

"There's a vast history of people the Catholic Church has made saints over the centuries. Holiness is absolutely a matter of equal opportunity, but this certainly is special because it marks the first time a Native American becomes a saint."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. WillieLove

    This is a move to get more natives into a cult and satan's way of keeping native people from the truth. Wake up natives!! Goddess you pray to is the same goddess the RCC pray's to!!!

    October 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  2. TC

    It's interesting.

    The Vatican smacks down modern day nuns for spending too much time in social justice issues and helping the poor, while canonizing women for doing exactly that.

    How does that work, exactly?

    October 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  3. Ruth

    whats for lunch

    October 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Their time is coming. Next year all of the churches in Italy are going to have to start paying taxes. Next up needs to be all of the churches in the US.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  5. bob

    Good advertising just in time to, with so many people turning away from the church. but it makes me wonder why the church needs advertising sounds like a sham

    October 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Jonathan

      this is a long process that has stretched out over years of investigation into Ketari's life and works. the vatican didn't decide to do this on a whim because of bad press.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  6. AMP


    October 22, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Clyde

      It's very nefarious and subtle a ploy. Other than you, only a few at the top of the evil hierarchy know of the plot that starts by recognizing a pious woman's holiness and asking for her prayers, and ends by destroying the world.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  7. Bootyfunk

    "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistant that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."
    - Thomas Paine, _The Age of Reason

    October 22, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • nope


      October 22, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • snopes says

      nope to nope

      October 22, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Religion is not healthy for humans and other carbon based life forms

      I see what you did there switching the b and f....very clever. If such wit followed by such a compelling arguement was applied more often, you could probably help stem the massive tide of people abandoning organized religion.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • nope


      October 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  8. Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

    BREAKING NEWS – Allah names Al Qaeda Number one, bin Laden, Satan.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  9. What does word Christianity means, hinduism, fabrication of hindu Jew's, criminal secular, A word without any traslation.

    Saint'hood was denied to Oh My God, truth absolute, ALLAH, by goon POP'CORN, Satan.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Lorraine" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian..

      October 22, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 22, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Ill admit I lie i do not believe in any silly gods, im just trolling

      October 22, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      October 22, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Religion is not healthy for humans and other living things

      Prayer is mumbling to yourself and pretending someone is listening

      October 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer still changes things !

      October 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • biobraine

      Prayer is a way for some people to cope with the challenges of life. Most people know deep down that they are only talking to themselves, but the human mind can be a powerful denyer when faced with the reality of the harsh uncaring universe. Apart from religion, people have all kinds of crutches- cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and excess food to name a few. Apart from being a little more detached from reality, I see little harm from the mental peptalk to yourself that is prayer.

      October 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • nope


      October 24, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  11. reluctant catechumen

    St. Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.

    October 21, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Yeah

      She preferred whips to prayers. Seriously.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  12. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Goddamn! The Catholic Circus sure is frantically trying to counteract the Jeezus-was-getting-his-freak-on scroll with all these newly appointed "saints"! What a load! We now declare that there is a new target for your intercessory prayers since you lowly followers cannot talk directly to "god" like we can! HA HA HA HA! Stupid SHIT!

    October 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  13. Coreso7

    To the Vatican... please read the Bible! The Bible is clear and concise about who is "close to God". The answer is quite simply those who have chosen Jesus as their personal Savior and have wholeheartedly surrendered their lives to Him. The Bible further explains that God chooses when to draw each man or woman to Him, in His divine timing. And when they heed His call, admit to their sinful nature, bow the knee to Jesus in reverance to the Savior, and accept God's salvation plan, they become one of His children for all eternity and this in fact cannot be undone. Nor does a person's "saved" status have to be continually earned or renegotiated. In fact being saved cannot be done or undone by mortal man by any means as it is a supernatural gift from a loving God given through Jesus Christ, once and forever. So I ask why then does the Catholic Church think it is their responsibilty or right to grant a person "Sainthood"? Personally, I don't need the Vatican to tell me who is "close to God". That is for God to decide and to know and not mortal man. On this subject, and all other subject of importance, turn to the Bible for infallible truth and you can't go wrong. All conflicting information is man-created and therefore not dependable. Praise be to God!

    October 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • What does word Christianity means, hinduism, fabrication of hindu Jew's, criminal secular, A word without any traslation.

      Make up you mind hindu Christian, Who is the truth absolute GOD, "HIM" or "him. Stop playing your hindu filthy game to hind, fool humanity.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  14. Tim

    The Orthodox Christian Church canonized St. Peter the Aleut, a native American in 1980.

    October 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  15. Reality

    Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life or cure diseases with prayers or "saints" saying them. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

    October 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  16. Answer

    All this article tells me is that a bunch of old men talking and deciding to give a label to a dead women.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  17. The truth about "saint" Kateri Tekakwitha

    Go find a biography of her. w She was into whipping herself, cutting herself, burning herself, and otherwise mutilating herself for the greater glory of god.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  18. What does word Christianity means, hinduism, fabrication of hindu Jew's, criminal secular, A word without any traslation.

    hindu sanatan, pagan goon manufacturing factory at work, way of hindu's deniers of truth absolute God, to promote human as god's, way of hindu's, ignorant's of hindu ism, racism.

    October 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  19. BurntOutBaptistinSaginaw

    I feel certain the MOST Native Americans don't really concern themselves if they are approved by any organized religion. "Sainthood is the guarantee that this person is close to God," said Vatican senior communications adviser Greg Burke.- really? I thought God made that choice...please! All about marketing the Organized Religions.
    John 10:28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish, NEITHER shall ANY MAN pluck them out of MY hand".

    October 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  20. 24HCC

    I feel certain that Native Americans have never been more proud.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)®

      or they will never forget forced conversion, goon, your nightmare comes true.

      October 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.