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7-6 Saints

SAINTS OF THE MONTH

stkatherinedrexelSAINT KATHARINE DREXEL:
Born: November 26, 1858 in Philadelphia, PA
Died: March 3, 1955 in Cornwell Heights, PA
Canonization Date: October 1, 2000 by Pope John Paul II
Patron of: Philanthropists and For Racial Justice Feast Day: March 3rd

Born Catherine Marie Drexel, she was the second child to a very wealthy couple, Francis and Hannah (Langstroth) Drexel. Two weeks after her birth, her mother died and in 1860, her father remarried Emma Bouvier. They had a daughter together. Now with older sister Elizabeth and younger sister Emma, the three had a very luxurious life.

Their parents did not want their children to be spoiled by their wealth so twice a week the entire family would go out and feed the poor and homeless.

As Catherine got older, she realized her family's wealth could not guarantee safety from illness, hardship or death having witnessed her step mother's death from cancer and her father's death shortly thereafter. Catherine thought however that maybe wealth could help those suffering from illness or hardship.

She and her two sisters decided to take a trip to Europe to overcome the grief of their father's death. While in Rome, Catherine was able to secure a private audience with Pope Leo XIII asking him to send religious sisters to the United States to help her start a school for Native American children. For some time, Catherine had a deep compassion for Native American People who she knew were not treated equally or fairly in this country.

Pope Leo suggested that she consider becoming a nun herself and start her own religious order to serve. When she returned the the United States, that is exactly what Catherine did! First she joined the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh, PA.

When becoming a nun, Catherine changed her name to Katharine and within a few years, along with thirteen other women started her own order of nuns known as the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

With the money she received from her father's inheritance (approx. $1,000 a day!) Mother Katharine as she was called, built over 60 schools for African American or Native American students and over 50 missions in sixteen states for Native American tribes. She also founded Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana as the all African American college.

Mother Katharine lived to be 96 years old, dying in 1955.

Over the years she spent over $20 million of her own money to help Native Americans and African Americans in the country to have a better life.

The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament lost all ties to Mother Drexel's financial support with her death. Katharine's father had stipulated that if any of his children should die without having any children of their own to inherit the fortune, it was to be given to charities he had stated in his will. Since Katharine started the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament AFTER his death, he never knew of their existence and then therefore were not listed in his will.

Katharine Drexel was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000 and was made Patron of Philanthropists and for racial justice.  

ST. KATHARINE DREXEL LINKS:
Video on the Life of St. Katharine Drexel
Audio on the Life of St. Katharine Drexel
Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament Website
National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel 

josephwithjesusST. JOSEPH:
Born: About 90BC Died:
Before 30AD
Canonization Date: Unknown
Patron: Universal Church; Fathers; Carpenters; the Dying; Social Justice.
Feast Days: March 19 - Joseph, Husband of Mary May 1 - Joseph the Worker

Most of what we know about St. Joseph comes from Scripture.

He was the foster father of Jesus and a carpenter by trade. He was also poor. We know this since he could not afford a sacrificial lamb when he presented Jesus at the Temple as in infant. Instead Joseph offered two doves - the "poor man's" sacrifice.

He was a compassionate and caring man, not wanting any harm to come to Mary when he discovered she was pregnant. It wasn't until an Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream that he accepted Mary was telling the truth that God had chosen her to carry His child.

He was also a man of faith, doing all that God asked of him.

The last we hear of Joseph is when Jesus becomes lost on a trip in Jerusalem.

It is believed Joseph died before Jesus started His public ministry.

LINKS ON ST. JOSEPH:
Biography on St. Joseph (video)
St. Joseph the Worker Feast Day (Audio & Article)
St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Feast Day (Audio & Article)
National Shrine to St. Joseph (website)  

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