OCTOBER 21, 2012

POPE CANONIZES TEKAKWITHA AS STE. KATERI TEKWITHA—FIRST NATIVE AMERICAN SAINTE

Tekakwitha, whose Mohawk name meant “She Who Bumps Into Things,” was born in 1656, at Ossernenon, near current Auriesville, New York, of a Mohawk father and Christianized Algonquin mother.  Inspired, at age 11, by visiting Jesuits, she lived by their examples and, at age 20, was instructed in religion and baptized with the name Catherine (“Kateri” in Mohawk).  Threatened in her home village, she fled to the Christian Indian mission of St. Francis Xavier at Sault Saint-Louis, near Montreal, and was known as the “Lily of the Mohawks” in recognition of her kindness, faith, and heroic suffering.  She died April 17, 1680, in Caughnawaga, Quebec.  Accounts of her life formed the basis for her beatification, proclaimed by Pope John Paul II in 1980.  In December 2011, the testimony of a boy who claimed that his infection with flesh-eating bacteria disappeared after praying for her intercession led to Pope Benedict XVI canonizing her as a sainte.  Her Feast days are July 14 (U.S.) and April 17 (Canada).  

Source:  “Ste. Kateri Tekakwitha: Mohawk Sainte,” Encyclopedia Britannica.  Retrieved 7/17/2019, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Kateri-Tekakwitha
Painting:  Fr. Claude Chauchetière, S.J., circa 1696.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 100 years or less.    

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