Prayer of the Potawatomi on Hearing of the Death of Philippine
She comes, Great Spirit,
She comes soon.
Comfort her spirit and care for her passage.
Let the grasses of the fields whisper her homecoming.
Let the lapping of the Mississippi’s water
Change her back to you.
Put out your colors this morning in all four season’s flowers.
Let them bloom all at once in her honor.
Let the mockingbird, known for cleverness,
Imitate all manner of songs, one for each mood of our hearts.
For we are sad; she was our sister.
We are glad, too; she is your child.
We are sorry; too many miles prevent our putting out this blanket
Once more, over her shoulders.
(She learned weaving from our hands;
we learned to pray from her face.)
Let the sun blaze forth her compassion.
And the full moon tonight remind us
Of her hours praising you in this tent.
Our village will keep vigil tonight.
Chief declares a fast in her name until tomorrow.
We will pray in what was her tent
For both our peoples, and for all those places
On the flat map which she left for us.
Creator, hear our prayer for her, for our children.
For those prairies, trees, and rivers,
For the faraway mountains and this brook which holds our tears.
Hear our sighs for these, our children.
That they remember what she taught them
And recall her name, for many moons, as your great woman.
Author: Sharon Karam, RSCJ, Province of the United States – Canada
Image: Annett Hanrahan, RSCJ, Province of Australia - New Zealand