It has been a wonderful couple of days. Recently, a group of us were able to make a pilgrimage to the shrines of St. Kateri Tekakwitha and the North American Martyrs. The shrine is a mere three hour drive north of New York City. This spot is some of the holiest soil in our country. During the mid 17th Century three of the martyrs toiled and shed their blood for the faith on that spot. The remains of St. Rene Goupil are still buried somewhere in the revered ravine (find their story here).
Ten years after the martyrdom of St. John Lalande and St. Isaac Jogues, St. Kateri was born in this same blessed village. Recently canonized a saint, she was an amazing anomaly.
You may have heard of a famous quote by the 2nd-century Church Father Tertullian who wrote that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church." This implies that the sacrifice of the martyrs will lead to an outpouring of grace and conversions. The truth of this insight is born by history. How did a small persecuted sect (Christianity) conquer the Roman Empire which sought to stamp it out?
St. Kateri is another example of inexplicable grace flowing from the yes of martyrs. May Saint Kateri pray for an outpouring of purity and prayer in our lives today (find the Pope's canonization homily here). Here is her inspiring story from the Vatican Press Release:
God bless you,
Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR