St Katherine Drexel (1858 – 1955), a modern-day Saint, was born into a very wealthy banker family in Philadelphia, USA. Five weeks after her birth her mother died, so Katherine and her sister were cared for by her aunt and uncle. Her father remarried in 1860 and his children rejoined him. A further daughter was born in 1863 and they enjoyed a private home-education and all the additional trappings wealth could buy.
St Katherine discovered the meaning of being poor and hungry when her family routinely distributed food and clothing each week from their home to visitors. She also joined family members as they “quietly” visited poor families in their community to deliver goods. The three-year suffering of her stepmother from cancer further impacted her early life. Having nursed her mother until she died, she again realised that money can’t buy health and happiness.
A few years following her father’s death and despite the multi-million dollar wealth she inherited with her two sisters, St Katherine joined the Convent of Mercy Sisters, aged 31yrs. During her remaining long life, St Katherine, using her inherited wealth, establish many schools and missions. She dedicated her work to supporting equality for American Indians and Afro-Americans whilst living a frugal life. St Katherine is the Second of only a few American-born Saints. She died aged 96.
St Katherine’s patronages include philanthropy and racial justice. Her Feast Day is the 3rd March, the day of her death.
Pray that we will develop a better understanding of the plight of the poor, fight for their human rights and share our worldly goods freely with them.
Glory be to the…