American Saints

DID YOU KNOW THAT there are American Saints too? The Vatican has named several people who either lived, worked or were born in the United States as saints; and a few more have been declared Blessed, which means they’re on their way to canonization.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, known as Mother Cabrini, was the first (Italian-born) American citizen to be canonized. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and was canonized in 1946. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=278

 

St. Marianne Cope was born Barbara Koob in 1838 in West Germany, but her family moved to the U.S. when she was an infant. She joined the Sisters of St. Francis in her early 20’s and received the name “Sister Marianne”. She is best known for her work among people with leprosy in Hawaii. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=7727

 

Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich was born in 1901 in New Jersey. She joined the Sisters of Charity in 1925. She is best known for her spiritual writings, “Greater Perfection”, which were published after her 1927 death. Sister Miriam Teresa was beatified last October at our very own Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. It was the first time ever that a beatification was done on U.S. soil. For more information link onto: catholicsaints.info/blessed-teresa-demjanovich/

 

St. Katharine Drexel was born in Philadelphia in 1858 and died in 1955. The “heiress-turned-nun” and foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament is best known for devoting her life and fortune to starting schools in 13 states for blacks, missions for Native Americans in 16 states, 40 other mission centers, and 23 rural schools. Pope John Paul ii canonized her in 2000. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=193

 

St. Rose-Philippine Duchesne was born in 1769 in France. She became a nun when she was 18, but her contemplative community was dispersed after the French Revolution. When she was 35, she joined the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When she was 49 she sailed for the “New World”, where she established her order’s first house outside of France and founded several schools. She died in St. Charles, Missouri, in 1852. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=377

 

St. Mother Theodore Guerin was a French-born nun who lived in the 19th century. She is best known for founding schools in Illinois and Indiana. Canonized in 2006, she is the Patron Saint of Indianapolis. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=6984

 

St. Isaac Jogues is thought to be the first Catholic priest to go to Manhattan. He is best known for his work as a missionary to the Huron and Algonquian nations in the area colonized by France in what is now the United States and Canada. He died in 1646 after he was hit with a Mohawk tomahawk. He is the Patron Saint of the Americas and Canada. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=151

 

St. John Neumann was the first Redemptorist priest to profess his vows in the United States. The German-born priest became a citizen in 1848 at the age of 36. He is best known for establishing the first unified system of Catholic schools in Philadelphia. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=70

 

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was a German-born Redemptorist priest who pastored and preached in Catholic parishes in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Louisiana, Michigan, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey and other states from 1844 until his death from yellow fever in 1867. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2532

 

St. Junipero Serra is known for his work in establishing missions in California to spread the Christian gospel to the native people there. (Pope Francis canonized the Spanish friar, Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on September 23, 2015)  For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=401

 

St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1774-1821) was canonized as the first American-born saint in 1975. She converted to Catholicism after her husband’s death and founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, the first order of religious women in America. She also founded several schools. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=180

 

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was a 17th century Mohawk woman who was canonized in 2012. She is best known for teaching prayers to children and working with the elderly and sick. St. Kateri died in 1680, just before her 24th birthday. She is the Roman Catholic Church’s first Native American saint. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=154

 

St. Damien de Veuster of Moloka’i was best known for his work with people suffering with leprosy in the Hawaiia Islands. The Belgian-born priest ended up in Hawaii as a replacement for his brother, also a priest, who had been assigned to a mission in Hawaii but subsequently became too ill to travel. Upon arriving, the young priest offered to stay in the leper colony at Moloka’I permanently to help with building schools, hospitals, churches, and coffins. He worked closely with St. Marianne Cope. St. Damien ultimately contracted leprosy himself and died in 1889 at the age of 49. He is Hawaii’s patron saint. For more information link onto: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id2817

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