Born in 1858 to Francis and Emma Drexel, Katharine grew up in a happy, devout, and wealthy Catholic family in Philadelphia. Her parents were greatly loved and admired by many for their kindness and generosity to the poor and needy. After the death of her parents the young Katharine decided to use all the fortune she had inherited to help the less fortunate in America, especially the Indians and African Americans. Acting upon the words she had heard while praying before a statue of Our Lady, “Freely you have received, freely give,” and from the direct advice given her by Pope Leo XIII to become a missionary, Katharine Drexel became a religious sister and in 1891 founded the order of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Mother Katharine and her sisters worked tirelessly to serve the material and spiritual needs of the downtrodden through numerous schools and institutions she established around the country. She died in 1955, and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2001.