On Sunday, October 21st, Kateri Tekakwitha was declared the newest of the saints. Since she is the first Native American saint, some people are wondering why there are no other Native American saints yet, and what it takes to become a saint.
The steps of beatification (being declared blessed) and canonization (being declared a saint) are explained very well in this article.
Some people want to become saints, but they think that their life is too different from those of the saints, and that sainthood is therefore impossible. Saints come from many different ways of life. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary was a queen, Maria Goretti was a simple peasant girl, and Kateri Tekakwitha was one of the first Native Americans who really accepted the faith. In addition, not all the saints started out the same. Saint Therese of Lisieux knew from the age of 5 that she would always serve God, but Ignatius of Loyola was 30 years old before he fully committed to serving God.
As you can see, saints aren’t aliens. They are people just like us; they struggle, feel pain, and lose strength just like us. The only difference is that their trust lies completely in Jesus, and they rely on His strength each day for support.