July 14 - Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
This young Native American (from the Mohawk and Algonquin tribes), will be canonized in October of this year. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American venerated as a saint in the Church. Her father was a Mohawk chief and her mother, a Catholic, from the Algonquin tribe, who was captured and taken prisoner to Mohawk territory where she married.
Her family died from a smallpox epidemic and Kateri learned the catechism from French missionaries. She was despised and ostracized by her tribe, but with a group of friends she formed a community of faith to support each other and teach the doctrine to children and care for poor and the sick. She died very young, at the age of 24, when she had just made her religious vows.
She is the patron saint of ecology.