Saint Katharine Drexel: A Brief Biography

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Saint Katharine Drexel was born on November 28, 1858. Her father was a wealthy banker, and her family had a history of donating their fortunes. She was educated privately at home by tutors, and she traveled the United States with her family. She became interested in the struggles of African Americans and Native Americans after reading A Century of Dishonor, a book that describes Native American troubles, and after seeing the African Americans struggle during her travels. After her father’s and mother’s deaths, she wanted to use her inheritance to help others, based on her father’s philanthropy. Katharine and her sisters donated money to a charity to support Natives. Later, she traveled with her sisters in 1886 to Europe, where they met Pope Leo XIII. When the sisters met Pope Leo, they asked him for missionaries that would help them run a mission they were financing. Pope Leo recommended that they become missionaries themselves. In 1889, Katharine Drexel went to the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh to begin her religious training. She later founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. Drexel’s inheritance funded the missionary work to aid Natives and African Americans. There were requests from organizations across the United States for Katharine’s help. Drexel…show more content…
She suffered a heart attack in 1935, which forced her to give up her leadership of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She later passed away at the age of 96 on March 3rd, 1955. Her father’s will stated that the money would be passed down to the sisters’ children. However, since none of the sisters had children, the money instead went to charity. At the time of her death, Drexel’s order had 500 members, and Katharine had donated over 20 million dollars towards her charitable acts. Her order had funded numerous schools and missionaries. Her order continues its work today, reaching across
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