St. Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as Lily of the Mohawks, is one of the newest saints! Her story is inspirational, (but a little bit sad).
A Native American Saint
She is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint. When she was a child she contracted smallpox which left significant scars on her face. St. Kateri was very self conscious about the scarring on wore a blanket over her head to cover her face. Sadly, the smallpox that affected her killed her entire family and she was sent to live with her uncle. It was while living with him that she met Catholic missionaries that were visiting the Mohawk villages.
Kateri Tekakwitha refused to marry. Her adopted family had arranged for suitors but she always refused. At age 19, she converted to the Catholic faith by taking a vow of chastity and pledging only to marry Jesus. This decision was very unpopular with her adopted family and village. There were even rumors of witchcraft and sorcery. She soon moved to a Christian native village near Montreal.
St. Kateri was very devout and would often practice self-mortifcation such as putting thorns on her sleeping mat, tainting her food to diminish its flavor and even burned herself. She prayed endlessly for the conversion of the Mohawk clan. St. Kateri’s health was poor and her practice of self-mortification and denial did not help her health issues. She died at the young age of 24 and within 15 minutes of her death, her the scarring on her face healed miraculously.
Why a sea turtle?
The sea turtle on St. Kateri’s medal represents her Mohawk clan from where she originated, which had a turtle as its clan symbol.
Who would St. Kateri be friends with?
- Single women
- Nature lovers
- Nuns and other women in religious life
You can learn more about St. Kateri Tekakwitha right here.
“Who can tell me what is most pleasing to God that I may do it.” St. Kateri devoted herself to God completely even though she was outcast by her family and Mohawk clan.
Ready to get closer to St. Kateri? We have a whole section of the shop devoted to her.