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St. Katharine Drexel
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Religious Figure
    (November 26, 1858-March 3, 1955)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Heiress to the Drexel banking fortune
    Founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People and became a nun (1891)
    Provided $12 million for charitable and religious activities
    Canonized, becoming the second saint born in the USA (2000)
    Patron saint of racial justice and philanthropists
    She and her sister went into 'a kind of panic' when a Protestant minister said grace before a meal at their grandparents' house.
    When the Pope first suggested she become a missionary, she felt ill.
    She is one of many recent saints who benefited from the Roman Catholic Church reducing the number of miracles required for canonization.
    During an audience with Pope Leo XIII (1887), she pleaded for him to send a missionary priest to the Indian reservations in the US. He replied, 'Why not my child, become a missionary yourself?'
    She founded over 100 schools for Indians and blacks, including Xavier University of Louisiana, the first historically black Catholic university in the US.
    She and the nuns in her order were harassed by segregationists, which included burning down a school she opened in Pennsylvania.
    When a nun reported that a group of men had called her a 'nigger lover,' she replied, 'And did you ask God to bless them?'

Credit: C. Fishel


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