Saint Katharine Drexel - Justice for the Underserved

The Virtue of the Month in April is Justice. One of the saints that truly exemplifies Justice is Saint Katharine Drexel. Born wealthy, Saint Katharine was always taught to love and help the poor. Saint Katharine was a proponent of Catholic education. She started the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a religious order that taught Native Americans and African Americans who were denied a good education because of their race. She and her fellow sisters also started many elementary, secondary schools and Xavier University. Her true love of the poor and of Catholic education had a lasting impact on future generations. 

Justice is one of the cardinal virtues.  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor.” Justice is tied very intimately to the person of Jesus Christ and the virtue of mercy. Pope Francis has described the intimate relationship between the two virtues as this,” Your gaze on those you are called to judge should always be a gaze of goodness. In fact, in giving everyone their due, the extreme weakness in the lives of so many, which influences their choices, cannot be forgotten” Justice is only possible when each person’s rights are considered.

“You are just, O Lord, and your ordinance is right. Your justice is everlasting justice, and your law is permanent.” (Ps 119:137)