Looking for intercession?
Today is a great day to exercise our faith in the Communion of Saints and ask for their prayers, as the Pope just canonized 7 new saints this morning. That makes today a powerful day for intercession. Make sure and get your prayer in!
The canonization of Saint Kateri Tekadwitha falls just shortly after the Feast of the North American Martyrs, Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brebeuf, and companions. I found today’s readings for the Mass very appropriate for this occasion: The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.
The Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity. If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him. Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.
Saint Kateri, our first Native American Saint, was born in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon (now Auriesville, NY) 10 years after the martyrdom of Saint Isaac Jogues, who was tomahawked to death in that same village, for preaching the Gospel to the natives. Two other Jesuit companions of Jogues were also martyred in Ossernenon, St. René Goupil and St. John Lalande.
You can read about these 4 saints’ testimonies here at the website for the Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville, NY. (A wonderful place for a pilgrimage, by the way. I’ve been there several times).
Today we should remember to thank the Lord for the gift of martyrs and saints. We also have the saints themselves to thank, because due to their heroic witness we share in their faith today. I find this line from today’s Gospel reading particularly applicable, when Jesus said to James and John:
“The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
Today’s gift of new saints to the Church gives us the opportunity to reflect on the blessings we’ve received, to thank God for those unmerited gifts, and to ask the saints above to intercede for our faith, that we may follow their example of spreading the seeds of Christianity as heroically as they did.
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