The story that made her a Saint
By Steve Ammerman
Believers are calling it a miracle: A prayer to a woman who lived in the Mohawk Valley centuries ago responsible for healing a young boy fighting a flesh eating bacteria. It is the story behind the blessed Kateri's canonization by the Catholic Church later this year.
"I think it is a matter of a miracle," said Jake Finkbonner.
When Jake was five-years-old, he cut his lip during a basketball game which quickly led to a flesh eating bacteria that ravaged his face.
Jake's mother Elsa Finkbonner says, "He went from being injured on a Saturday to being in a children's hospital on Monday to last rites on Tuesday."
It was during that time a Kateri conference was being held in Seattle. Theresa Steele from Syracuse was attending the conference and prayed over Jake for the blessed Kateri's intercession. Jake's condition then started to improve. He and his family credit the doctors' care but also are thankful for the prayers. The Vatican investigated Jake's case, and consider it a miracle necessary to canonize Kateri later this year. Kateri will become the first Native American saint.
Steele who is a devout Catholic and Algonquin spends a lot of time at the National Kateri Shrine in Fonda. She says she knows of other miracles, and considers the local shrine a very spiritual place. People come from far and wide to offer up their prayers. Soon, they will have a historic reason to make the pilgrimage.
We could know as early as this weekend just when the canonization for the blessed Kateri will take place. It may be sometime this summer just as hundreds of people from around the world happen to be coming to Albany to attend the Annual Kateri Conference. Not only will they visit the shrine in Fonda, but a separate one as well in Auriesville.
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