Monday, December 8, 2014

The Vow of Catherine Tekakwitha

In the spring of 1679, on the Feast of the Annunciation, she took what is prudently termed to be the first known vow of perpetual virginity ever taken by any Indian maiden of North America.

Father Cholenec officiated at it, and it was he also who wrote the account of it.

It was on the day of the Annunciation, the twenty-fifth of March, 1679, at eight o'clock in the morning, that Catherine Tekakwitha a moment after Jesus Christ had been given to her in Holy Communion, gave herself also entirely to Him and renouncing marriage forever, promised to Him her perpetual virginity, and finally with a heart on fire with love called on Him to deign to be her unique spouse, and to take herself as His spouse in return. She prayed Our Lady that Our Lady might with tender devotion present her to her Divine Son; then wishing to make a double sacrifice in a single act, she at the same time as she gave herself devout to Jesus Christ, consecrated herself wholly to Mary, begging her to be from then on her mother, and to take her as her daughter.*

* Cholenec, p. 51.

— Daniel Sargeant, Catherine Tekakwitha, NY, 1936, pp. 225–226.