On Monday, the pope signed a decree recognizing the miracle in Blessed Kateri's cause, clearing the way for her canonization to become the first American-Indian saint in the history of the Catholic church.
Jake Finkbonner's story is one to be treasured for a lifetime to come. Many believe the young boy's life was spared by divine intervention.
"It's unexplainable as to why he lived," said his mother, Elsa Finkbonner.
Jake's incredible journey began back in 2006 at the age of 5 when cut his lip during a basketball game. An infection developed and a flesh-eating bacteria quickly spread across his face, head and chest. Doctors feared the worst.
"His accident happened on Saturday and by Monday, he was at Children's Hospital. And Tuesday, the priest came and gave him his last rites," said Elsa Finkbonner.
Jake's parents continued to pray, specifically for the intercession of Blessed Kateri, a Native American who converted to catholiciscm. Small pox scarred her face when she was a young girl, and legend has it those scars disappeared when she died.
While Jake was suffering, he says there was a time he was ready for the angels to take him.
"That was when I met God, just standing there," he said. "I gave him a hug. I asked him if I could stay in heaven, 'cause I really enjoyed it there. And he said no, 'cause my family needed me here on Earth."
Jake has had to endure 29 surgerys and must undergo additional procedures. Despite his ordeal, his faith in God remains strong.
Jake says he would like to become a doctor, more specifically a plastic surgeon who helps patients in situations similar to his own.
"Makes me feel like I'm doing something for God, bringing more people back into his community," he said.