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The Feast of Kateri Tekakwitha

Feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha - North American Saint

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Kateri Tekakwitha
RazzuEngin via Flickr, licensed cc

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 Ossernenon, New York,  a village overlooking the Mohawk River (now known as Auriesville, NY, home to the Shrine of North American Martyrs.

Kateri was the daughter of a Turtle Clan chief and a Christian Algonquin captive. A smallpox epidemic decimated the town and left Kateri orphaned at the age of four. The disease also left the little girl with a pockmarked face and poor eyesight. This was a source of humiliation for the child and she was frequently seen hiding her face with a blanket. 

Kateri was raised by her paternal uncle. French  Jesuits  established a mission in her home when Kateri was a teenager. Here she was exposed to the Catholic Faith and experienced a conversion. She was baptized by Father Jacques de Lamberville and took the name Catherine, which is Kateri in her native language. 

But Kateri's faith and vow of virginity were not accepted by her family and village. To escape persecution she left to the safety of Caughnawaga, a mission village near Montreal 300 miles away. 

Kateri died at the age of 24. Devotion to her began almost immediately and she was beatified on June 20, 1980, and canonized by Pope Benedict on October 21, 2012 with six others.  She is also known as The Lily of the Mohawks.

Source:  From the Lily and the Cross.
The Vatican 

Ways to celebrate:

Little Kateri Costume I made for Rosie when she was a baby.
Princess mommy and her two girls!
Bob and Pennie Lord Movie about the Saint on Amazon Streaming here.

Follow Elena LaVictoire's board St. Kateri on Pinterest.