Katherine Drexel was born in 1858 to a prominent and wealthy Philadelphiafamily. As a young adult she inherited fifteen million dollars when bothher stepmother and father died. UpbringingKatherine Drexel was one of three daughters to Francis Anthony Drexel.
Katherine was the second child of Hannah Langstroth, Francis’ wife. Katherine was born on November 26, 1858. Only one short month after Katherine was born, Hannah passed away. Francis had later remarried to Emma BouvierFrancis and Emma ha a child, another daughter, Louise. Elizabeth, Katherine’s older sister, Katherine herself and Louise, weretaught to use their wealth to help benefit others. A few days out of his busy schedule, Francis would open his home to thehomeless and poor.Order now
All three girls were brought up in a tender, loving and deep faithatmosphere. On Her OwnKatherine set out on her own after nursing her step-mother, Emma, for twoyears. She took her estimated $ 15 million, after her parents died, and put it togood use helping others. Katherine was very passionate about helping those less fortunate thenherself, both financially and spiritually.
She had an overpowering love for God. A love that ran deep within herveins, that she dedicated her life to Christ and followed his word. The Sisters of the Blessed SacramentIn 1891, Katherine took her vows and became a nun. Katherine began a congregation called The Sisters of the Blessed Sacramentfor Indians and Colored People.
The congregation was based in Cornwell Heights, near Philadelphia, PA. She had also instituted a fourth vow in the congregation besides poverty,chastity, and obedience. Katherine vowed, “To be the mother and servant of the Indian and Negroraces according to the rule of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and notto undertake any work that would lead to the neglect and abandonment of theIndian and the Colored races. “Helping OthersIn 1894, Katherine opened a school for Indians in New Mexico. During her time in New Mexico, Katherine contracted typhoid fever in 1912. Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that now is rare in the U.
S. . . Symptoms include unusually high fever, headache, loss of appetite, fatigue,and abdominal pain. Unfortunately, Katherine had to put things on hold while she recuperated.
After her recovery, Katherine opened another school in 1915. XavierUniversity. Xavier University in New Orleans, was the first United Sates Catholicinstitution for higher education for blacks. By 1942, she had a system of black Catholic schools in 13 states, 40mission centers, 23 rural schools and 50 Indian missions.
Death of Mother Katherine DrexelUnfortunately, Katherine suffered a heart attack and was forced to retire. She spent the next nineteen years of her life in constant prayer and toalso mature in the contemplative life. Katherine tragically died in March 1955 in Cornwell Heights. She left behind a true legacy of love and a host of dedicated sisters toprovide education and assistance to the Colored and Indian races. SainthoodAt a jubilee mass on October 1, 2000, Mother Katherine Drexel became thesecond native born citizen to be declared a saint. At the service Pope John Paul II praised Katherine Drexel for all the workthat she had done throughout her life.
The Pope stated, “Her apostolate helped bring about a growing awareness ofthe need to combat all forms of racism through education and socialservices. Katherine Drexel is an excellent example of that practicalcharity and generous solidarity with the less fortunate which has long beenthe distinguishing mark of American Catholics. “Attending the mass were members of the Blessed Sacrament Order, whose 225nuns run more than 40 schools and ministry sites in 13 states. MiraclesWhen Robert Gutherman was 14 years old he had and incurable hearingproblem. His full recovery in 1974 was attributed to Mother KatherineDrexel.
Amy wall was also another miracle. Amy was born deaf. After all medicalhopes and efforts had failed, her parents began to pray to KatherineDrexel. Miraculously, in 1994 Amy could hear even after the doctors hadsaid that there would be no possibility for Amy to hear again.Sourceswww.sistersoftheblessedsacrament.comwww.katherinedrexel.orgwww.sacredheart.comwww.freelibraryofphiladelphia.com