We celebrate Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, known as “Lily of the Mohawks”. She lived from 1656 to 1680 and died shortly before her 24th birthday. Her mother was a captive Christian Algonquin that was married to a Mohawk chief of the Iroquois. At the age of four, her parents and little brother died due to smallpox. The smallpox left her disfigured and blind in one eye. She then lived with her uncle.
She was always drawn to Christianity, but it was looked down upon by her uncle. She refused to marry and decided to convert. After her baptism, she was threatened and in constant danger. With a priest’s advice, she fled 200 miles from modern New York to near Montreal for safety.
She did harsh penances like sleeping on rocks. She lived out her remaining three years with kindness and a final illness. Upon her death, it was said that the priest turned away after she had passed and upon looking back, she was completely healed of the disfigurement. Many marveled at her beautiful and how she looked as though she was just sleeping.
Quote from Kateri: “I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love.”