Saint Kateri Tekakwitha of the Mohawk tribe was born in the year 1656, near Auriesville, NY. When she was young girl many within the Mohawk nation had contracted small pox from settlers. Her mother was among those who’s outcome was fatal while Tekakwitha was left with scarring on her face.
When left orphaned she was taken in by her aunts and uncle. She later became baptized within the Catholic faith as Catherine Tekakwitha. Doing so had left many within her tribe to be bitter towards her. Tekakwitha then moved to a Christian colony in Canada where she focused her life tending to the ill and elderly as well as a life of prayer.
On April 17, 1680, Kateri Tekakwitha passed away and is now known as the Lily of the Mohawks and the Flower of the Algonquins. In 1943, the Catholic Church declared she was venerable, and in 1980 Tekakwitha was Beatified.
In 2012, she was inducted into sainthood and is the patron saint of the environment and ecology along with St. Francis of Assisi. Her saint day resides on July 14.
Tekakwitha is one of five Native Americans to be declared a saint in the Christian faith, the others being Episcopal St. Priest Paul Cuffee of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and St. Samson Occum of the Mohegan Nation, Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV of the Hawaiian Islands. March 4 is St. Paul Cuffee’s feast day, St. Samson Occum on July 14th and St. Emma and Kamehameha IV on Nov. 28th.
The following are two prayers to Saint Kateri Tekakwitha:
Blessed Kateri, you are revered as the mystic of the American wilderness.
Though orphaned at the age of four,
and left with a scarred face and
damaged eyesight from illness,
you were esteemed among the Mohawk tribe.
Whenyou asked to be baptized a Christian
you subjected yourself
to abuse by your people
and were forced to run away.
You endured may trials but
still flowered in prayer and holiness,
dedicating yourself totally to Christ.
I ask you to be my spiritual guide
along my journey through life.
Through you intercession,
I pray that I may always be
loyal to my faith in all things.
Kateri, favored child,Flower of the Algonquins and Lily of the Mohawks,We come to seek your intercession in our present need.
We admire the virtures which adorned your soul: love of God and neighbor, humility, obedience, patience, purity and the spirit of sacrifice. Help us to imitate your example in our life. Through the goodness and mercy of God, Who has blessed you with so many graces which led you to the true faith and to a high degree of holiness, pray to God for us and help us.
Obtain for us a very fervent devotion to the Holy Eucharist so that we may love Holy Mass as you did and receive Holy Communion as often as we can. Teach us also to be devoted to our crucified Savior as you were, that we may cheerfully bear our daily crosses for love of Him Who suffered so much for love of us. Most of all we beg you to pray that we may avoid sin, lead a holy life and save our souls. Amen.
In thanksgiving to God for the graces bestowed upon Kateri: one Our Father, Hail Mary and three Glory Be’s. Kateri, Flower of the Algonquins and Lily of the Mohawks, pray for us.