TEKAKWITHA LILY OF THE MOHAWKS
Tekakwitha was born in 1656 of a Christian Catholic Algonquin mother and a traditional Mohawk Chief in a village called Ossernenon along the Mohawk River.
A smallpox epidemic swept through the Mohawk village and claimed the lives of Tekakwitha's parents and baby brother. She survived the disease but it left her eyesight impaired and her body scarred. It also left her physically weak for the rest of her life.
Orphaned at age 4, she was adopted by her aunt and uncle.
In 1670, St. Peter's Mission was established in Caughnawaga (now Fonda, New York). Four years later, Father James de Lamberville became responsible for the new mission. Tekakwitha met Father de Lamberville and expressed her desire for baptism.
On April 5, 1676 she was baptized and was given the name Kateri. In August, 1677, Kateri was encouraged and assisted to leave her Mohawk village and live at Sault St. Louis, St. Francis Xavier Mission near Montreal. After a long and strenuous trip, she arrived at the Sault with the help of friends. Finally, she would be able to practice her Christian ways with greater openness and freedom.
On Christmas Day, 1677, Kateri received her first Holy Communion. On March 25, 1679, Kateri pronounced her vow of perpetual virginity. Her life was devoted to teaching prayers to children and helping the sick and aged until she became very frail and weak. On April 17, 1680, she died at the age of 24. Her last words were: "Iesos konoronkwa," "Jesus, I love you." A few minutes after her death, those around her bedside witnessed the ugly scars on her face suddenly disappear. On January 3, 1943, she was declared Venerable by Pope Pius XII. On June 22, 1980, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Rome.
For more information on the Tekakwitha Conference please visit: http://www.tekconf.org/index.html
|In Her Foot Steps
by Sister Kateri Mitchell, SSA
|Click the Button to Listen to the Song|
Mohawk Algonquin Lily Filled with love
Sister Turtle Clan strong, kind and true
Tekakwitha hope filled dignity
Woodland Cross of Life fasting and prayer
Precious Flower virgin, fair and free
Friend with Compassion helper and healer
Gift of Nations gentle and forgiving
Our Sunshine vision, bright and keen
Creator centered creation filled
Celebrate our gathering clans, tribes, nations Justice, harmony we thank you.
Family united Body, blood, life
In your sacred journey Blessed Kateri