Katherine Marie Drexel, the second native-born US saint will be canonised in October. Born into a wealthy family, she dedicated her inheritance and life to combating the damaging effects of racism.
   A woman of intense prayer, she founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for the Christian education of Indians and African Americans. She was beatified on November 20, 1988.
   Although slaves in the US were emancipated in 1865, she noted the state of humiliation of native and African Americans during a family trip to the western US some years later. At the same time, Katherine was becoming increasingly convinced that God was calling her to the contemplative life. But during an audience in Rome with Pope Leo XIII, the Pope suggested that she herself become a missionary.
   Zenit (available soon) 24/2/00

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