Face-to-face with the divine: saints and their ways

Kateri Tekakwitha, Iroquois Virgin: 1656-1680, “Lily of the Mohawks” ,”Genevieve of New France”. Lovely name and title for this new saint. Newly canonized, anyway.

She lost both of her parents, her brother and most of her sight due to small pox that ravaged her village. Left with scars on her face and a poor vision, she was named Tekakwitha “she who bumps into things” .

“She was known for her great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Cross of Jesus.” Tradition holds that Kateri’s final words were. . .”Jesus, I love you”, after which she embraced her creator for all eternity (KateriShrine.com).

I never meant to have an icon of this saint.  I didn’t know about her.  So, when it came to choosing to paint Mary Magdalene or Kateri Tekakwitha.  My choice was clear.

As you can see in the picture bellow, Kateri had other plans for my week-long Iconography Workshop.


Twice a year, I spend a whole week painting and praying with a new saint. It’s a time for renewal and retreat from my many responsibilities.  A time for kneeling in awe of the eternal and realizing the human side of the saints’ lives.

Not this time.  I had a very hard time finding a spiritual connection with Mary Magdalene.  I felt lost!

Until the night before my Icon Workshop!  The whole family was waiting for G.K. Chesterton to challenge and delight us when Kateri Tekakwitha appeared on the screen.

We watched, learned and fell in love all at the same time.

Although she is known for her gentleness, I needed a two-by-four to change my mind.  So, she provided.

Thank you, my lovely one!


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