“Kateri impresses us by the action of grace in her life, in spite of the absence of external help and by the courage of her vocation, so unusual in her culture. In her, faith and culture enrich each another. May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are.

St. Kateri, protectoress of Canada and the first native American saint, we entrust you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and all of North America. May God bless the first nations.” Pope Benedict XVI

“At a time when little could be done for those suffering this terrible disease, Marianne Cope showed the highest love, courage and enthusiasm. She is a shining and energetic example of the best of the tradition of Catholic nursing sisters and the spirit of their beloved St. Francis.” Pope Benedict XVI

Commentary: American society has become hostile to truth and life, with disorder becoming the norm. It’s easy to lose our way and fall into despair. The lives of these and all the saints give us hope, and help us to see the ideal (pattern of life) being made real. Plus, they can and do help us from heaven.

Photographs: Alessandra Tarantino/AP