Monday, April 9, 2012

Lily of the Mohawks

Kateri Tekakwitha (Source: Wikimedia)

In February of this year, Pope Benedict the XVI announced that Kateri Tekakwitha would be canonized on October 21, 2012. She would be the first Native American to reach sainthood.

Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 to a Mohawk father and Algonquin mother in the Mohawk village of Canaouaga or Ossernenon (modern day Auriesville) in upstate New York. She converted to Christianity at early age and led a devout Christian life.  She died on April 17, 1680.

Immediately upon death, her body was said to have lost all of the disfiguring facial scars of smallpox - the same smallpox which killed the rest of her family when she was four years old - and her corpse become very beautiful. Other miraculous occurrences and indeed, miracles have been attributed to Kateri when people have used relics of hers or prayed to her for intercession on their behalf.

Sainthood is a very long process and her canonization began in 1884. On January 3, 1943 she was declared venerable by Pope Pius XII and was beatified on June 22, 1980 by Pope John Paul II. On December 19, 2011, the Congregation for Causes of Saints certified a second miracle through her intercession. The process will complete with her canonization this October.

I urge you to read more about this interesting woman and her sainthood from the sources listed below.


Learn more about Kateri Tekakwitha from the following sources:

"Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha"

Wikipedia: Kateri Tekakwitha
National Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine
Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs
Blessed Kateri, Model Ecologist

News Articles:
Montreal Gazette (Dec. 20, 2011): Sainthood Nearer for Kateri Tekakwitha
Montreal Gazette (Feb. 20, 2012): Kahnawake's Kateri Tekakwitha to be Canonized Oct. 21
Times Union (Feb. 20, 2012): Kateri to be Canonized in October

A Lily Among Thorns: The Mohawk Repatriation of Kateri Tekakwitha by Darren Bonaparte

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