Our Story


Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Gandahouhague, in the territory of the Mohawks, which later became part of New York. Her father was a Mohawk warrior of the Turtle clan, and her mother was an Algonquin captive. At the age of four smallpox ravaged her village, leaving her disfigured, impairing her eyesight, and depriving her of her parents. She was then raised by an uncle. She met Jesuit missionaries and, despite opposition to Christianity from her tribe and particularly her uncle, met with the missionaries in secret. She was baptized at Easter, 1676. She then became subject to increased contempt and derision from the people of her village for her conversion, as well as her refusal to work on Sundays or to marry.
In 1677 Kateri fled to Quebec, to the mission of St. Francis Xavier du Sault, called Caughnawaga by the native people. The following Christmas she received her first communion. At Caughnawaga she contributed to the community's economy while engaging in great personal austerities. She also continued to keep her personal vow of chastity. In 1679 she was allowed to begin a small convent at the mission. The following year she died. She was beatified in 1980.


St. Kateri Tekakwitha
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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin, was canonized on 10/21/2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Kateri was born near the town of Auriesville, New York, in the year 1656, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She was four years old when her mother died of smallpox. The disease also attacked Kateri and transfigured her face. She was adopted by her two aunts and an uncle. Kateri became converted as a teenager. She was baptized at the age of twenty and incurred the great hostility of her tribe. Although she had to suffer greatly for her Faith, she remained firm in it. Kateri went to the new Christian colony of Indians in Canada. Here she lived a life dedicated to prayer, penitential practices, and care for the sick and aged. Every morning, even in bitterest winter, she stood before the chapel door until it opened at four and remained there until after the last Mass. She was devoted to the Eucharist and to Jesus Crucified. She died on April 17, 1680 at the age of twenty-four. She is known as the "Lily of the Mohawks". Devotion to Kateri is responsible for establishing Native American ministries in Catholic Churches all over the United States and Canada. Kateri was declared venerable by the Catholic Church in 1943 and she was Beatified in 1980. Work is currently underway to have her Canonized by the Church. Hundreds of thousands have visited shrines to Kateri erected at both St. Francis Xavier and Caughnawaga and at her birth place at Auriesville, New York. Pilgrimages at these sites continue today.

St. Kateri Teckakwitha is the first Native American to be declared a Saint. Her feastday is July 14. She is the patroness of the environment and ecology as is St. Francis of Assisi.


Prayer for the Canonization of KATERI TEKAKWITHA

O God, who, among the many marvels of Your Grace in the New World, did cause to blossom on the banks of the Mohawk and of the St. Lawrence, the pure and tender Lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, grant we beseech You, the favor we beg through her intercession, that this Young Lover of Jesus and of His Cross may soon be counted among the Saints of Holy Mother Church, and that our hearts may be enkindled with a stronger desire to imitate her innocence and faith. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.