Condensed from: Fr. Pierre Cholenec’s Catherine Tekakwitha: Her Life
Numerous heavenly favours have been attributed to Kateri. Many are healings. There have also been apparitions.
Kateri’s face had been scarred and made swarthy from the small pox she had had when she was four years old. About fifteen minutes after her death, the scarring faded and her face became clear and fair.
Kateri’s life and death sanctified the mission. Widows renounced remarriage. Penance and devotions were practiced. A woman spent the entire night of Good Friday rolling around on pine needles just as Kateri had done.
On the sixth day following Kateri’s death–Easter Monday–at four in the morning, an individual was at prayer when Kateri appeared surrounded in glory, looking up into heaven as in an ecstasy. The vision lasted two hours. Other prophetic images accompanied this image. On Kateri’s right side, there was an image of a church upside down, and nearby to the left, a native person was attached to a post and being burned alive. This apparition occurred in April of 1680.
Kateri appeared to this same person twice more, in September of 1681 and in April of 1682. In the vision, Kateri said, “Look closely and make it according to the example.” Some images of Kateri were painted, and when they were placed on the head of a sick person, miraculous cures resulted.
Kateri appeared to Anastasie, her spiritual mother, eight days after her death. In one of the visions, Kateri held a cross pouring forth light. Kateri told Anastasia to look at the cross and counseled her to take up her own. In another vision, Kateri reminded Anastasie of something blameworthy she had done and gave her some advice.
There was a priest who had been planning to publish Kateri’s virtues. However, he had reservations due to some information he had received about her life. In doubt as to whether or not to believe what he had heard, he was called to help a man who was dying. The man was so sick he could barely make his Confession. The priest suggested that they appeal to Kateri, and the dying man agreed. The priest gave the man the crucifix that Kateri had had in her hands at her burial. Soon after, the man had to leave his bed, so that the bedding could be changed. Shortly after arising from bed, he collapsed to the floor, in the manner of one who would shortly die. He was placed in bed once more and fell into a deep sleep. When he awoke again, he found himself cured and no longer in any danger.
In January of 1681, a woman became seriously ill and was soon reduced to a critical condition. She received the Last Sacraments from the hands of the same priest as in the first event, who then gave her the same crucifix that had served at the first cure. He encouraged her to recommend herself to Catherine with confidence in her merits.
No sooner had she placed the crucifix on her neck than she was suddenly cured. In the belief that she owed her cure to the crucifix, she refused to let it go. The priest gave her some powder from the tomb of Kateri, which she placed on her neck in place of the crucifix. Some time later, she felt perfectly cured and so removed the powder. At that instant she again fell ill, and with such violence that she would have died if the powder that had cured her had not been immediately replaced on her neck.
Two months later, the powder from Kateri’s tomb cured another man on the brink of death. He was the very first native man to be cured by the intercession of Kateri.
Kateri also cured the souls of those whose bodies she cured. She helped cure a woman of a physical malady, but also cured her soul of a gambling addiction. Another man she helped to overcome a vice to which he had been prone for five years.
In January of 1684, a three-year old infant was choking on a shell. The infant was saved as soon as its mother prayed to Catherine. In the winter of 1693, Fr. Bruyas was stricken by paralysis of his right arm to the extent that he could not use it. He was immediately taken to Montreal to find a remedy for his malady. It was a Thursday morning when the priest arrived in Montreal. He was so confident that Kateri would restore to him the use of his arm that he did not submit to medical aid. On Friday, the priest got up at 4 A.M. and found his arm so well restored that he went to celebrate Mass, something he had not been able to do for eight days, to thank Our Lord and Kateri.
This is only a very partial list of miracles and apparitions. The healings are too numerous to be kept on record.