Vatican Will Canonize First Native American Saint

It credits boy's recovery to miracle by Kateri Tekakwitha
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2011 6:48 PM CST
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing as he arrives for a general audience in the Pope Paul II hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(Newser) – A young boy's recovery from flesh-eating bacteria will help a 17th-century woman become the first Native American saint in the Catholic Church, reports USA Today. The Vatican has called the recovery of Washington state's Jake Finkbonner from near death in 2006 a miracle that can be credited to Kateri Tekakwitha. Jake's family prayed to Tekakwitha, who was disfigured by smallpox herself as a girl in what is now upstate New York.

“There is no doubt in me or my husband’s mind that a miracle definitely took place,” Jake's mom tells “There were far too many things that could have and should have gone wrong with his illness. The doctors went through every avenue they could to save his life and he survived. It’s a miracle that all of the other things that could have gone wrong, didn’t.” The date for Tekakwitha's canonization will be announced in a few months. (Read more Pope Benedict XVI stories.)

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