Saint Katharine Drexel is remembered for her devotion to helping black people and Native Americans. She founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Black and Native American people as part of her life’s work. She was also the heiress of a prominent family in Philadelphia and left a fortune of $20 million to the Church.
St. Katharine Drexel grew up in a family dedicated to serving the poor. From a young age, the Drexels provided necessities like food and clothing to impoverished families in the community. She also personally delivered food and goods to widows or struggling families who did not attend the family’s weekly distribution of goods.
Her vows were taken in 1891, and she committed to help American Indians and African Americans. She also proactively sought to end racist attitudes in the south in the early 1900s, which included creating her own educational institution for black people. Saint Katharine Drexel was canonized in 2000. She is only one of few American saints.