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Kateri Tekakwitha

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Title: Kateri Tekakwitha  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Beautiful Losers, Catholic Church and women, Peshawbestown, Michigan, Mohawk people, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
Collection: 1656 Births, 1680 Deaths, 17Th-Century Christian Saints, American Mohawk People, American Roman Catholic Saints, Beatifications by Pope John Paul II, Canadian Roman Catholic Saints, Canonizations by Pope Benedict Xvi, Christian Female Saints of the Early Modern Era, Converts to Roman Catholicism from Pagan Religions, Native American Roman Catholics, People from Montgomery County, New York, Religious Figures of the Indigenous Peoples of North America, Smallpox Survivors
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Kateri Tekakwitha

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
Only known portrait from life of Catherine Tekakwitha, circa 1690, by Father Chauchetière
Virgin,[1] Penitent[2]
Religious ascetic and laywoman
Born 1656
Ossernenon, Iroquois Confederacy (New France until 1763, modern Auriesville, New York)
Died April 17, 1680
Kahnawake (near Montreal), Quebec, Canada
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified June 22, 1980, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Canonized October 21, 2012, Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI
Major shrine Saint Francis Xavier Church, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada
Feast April 17 (July 14 in the United States).
Attributes Lily; Turtle; Rosary
Patronage ecologists, ecology, environment, environmentalism, environmentalists, loss of parents, people in exile, people ridiculed for their piety, Native Americans, Igorots, Cordilleras, Thomasites, Northern Luzon, Diocese of Bangued, Vicariate of Tabuk, Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe, Diocese of Baguio, Philippines
Controversy Pressure to marry against will, Shunned and Exiled for her Roman Catholic beliefs

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (pronounced  in Mohawk), given the name Tekakwitha, baptized as Catherine[3][4] and informally known as Lily of the Mohawks (1656 – April 17, 1680), is a Roman Catholic saint who was an AlgonquinMohawk virgin and laywoman. Born in Auriesville (now part of New York), she suffered from smallpox as a young child, which scarred her face and greatly weakened her eyes. She converted to Roman Catholicism at age nineteen and was renamed Kateri. She settled for the remaining years of her life at the Jesuit mission village of Kahnawake, south of Montreal in New France, now Canada.

Tekakwitha took a devout vow of perpetual virginity. She was baptized in honor of Saint Catherine of Siena. Upon her death at the age of 24, minutes after her death, witnesses say her scars vanished and she appeared radiant and beautiful. Known for her virtue of chastity and mortification of the flesh, as well as being shunned by her tribe for her religious conversion to Catholicism, she is the fourth Native American to be venerated in the Roman Catholic Church,[5] and the first to be canonized.

Under the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, she was beatified in 1980 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter's Basilica on 21 October 2012.[6][7] Various miracles and supernatural events are attributed to her intercession.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Upheaval and invasions 2
  • Feast of the Dead 3
  • A chief converts 4
  • Family pressures 5
  • Conversion and Kahnawake 6
  • Mission du Sault St. Louis: Kahnawake 7
    • Chauchetière and Cholenec 7.1
  • Penances 8
  • Friendship with Marie-Thérèse 9
  • Death and appearances 10
  • Epitaph 11
  • Religious veneration 12
  • Reputed miracles 13
  • Controversy 14
  • Cultural references 15
  • Legacy 16
  • References 17
  • Further reading 18
  • External links 19

Early life and education

Tekakwitha is the name the girl was given by her tribe. It translates to "She who bumps into things." [8] Kateri is the Christian name the girl took at the time of her baptism. It was chosen in honor of St. Catherine of Siena. Kateri Tekakwitha (the name "Kateri" is derived from the French Catherine) was born around 1656 in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon near present-day Auriesville, New York. She was the daughter of a Mohawk chief, and Tagaskouita, a Roman Catholic Algonquin woman, who had been adopted into the tribe after capture. Her mother Tagaskouita had been baptized and educated by French missionaries in Trois-Rivières, east of Montreal. Mohawk warriors captured her and took her to their homeland.[9] Tagaskouita eventually married Kenneronkwa.[10] Tekakwitha was the first of two children. A brother followed.

Tekakwitha's original village was highly diverse, as the Mohawk were absorbing many captured natives of other tribes, particularly their competitors the Huron, to replace people who died from European diseases or warfare.

The Mohawk suffered a severe smallpox epidemic from 1661 to 1663. When Tekakwitha was around four years old, her baby brother and both her parents died of smallpox. She survived the disease, but was left with facial scars and impaired eyesight.[11] She was adopted by her father's sister and her husband, a chief of the Turtle Clan. Shortly afterward, the survivors of Ossernenon built a new village at the top of a hill, a mile or two west up the Mohawk River along its southern bank. They called their new village Caughnawaga ("at the wild water" in the Mohawk language).[12]

The Jesuits’ account of Tekakwitha said that she was a modest girl who avoided social gatherings; she covered much of her head with a blanket because of the smallpox scars. They said that, as an orphan, the girl was under the care of uninterested relatives. But, according to Mohawk practices, she was probably well taken care of by her clan, her mother and uncle's extended family, with whom she lived in the longhouse. She became skilled at traditional women’s arts, which included making clothing and belts from animal skins; weaving mats, baskets and boxes from reeds and grasses; and preparing food from game, crops and gathered produce. She took part in the women's seasonal planting and intermittent weeding. She was pressured to consider marriage around age thirteen, but she refused.[10]

Upheaval and invasions

Tekakwitha grew up in a period of upheaval, as the Mohawk interacted with French and Dutch colonists. In the fur trade, the Mohawk originally traded with the Dutch, who had settled in Albany and Schenectady. The French traded with and were allied with the Huron. Trying to make inroads in Iroquois territory, the French attacked the Mohawk in present-day central New York in 1666. After driving the people from their homes, the French burned all three Mohawk villages, destroying the longhouses, wigwams and the women's corn and squash fields. Tekakwitha, now around ten years old, fled with her new family into a cold October forest.[13]

After the defeat by the French forces, the Mohawk were forced into a peace treaty that required them to accept Jesuit missionaries in their villages. While there, the Jesuits studied Mohawk and other native languages in order to reach the people. They spoke of Christianity in terms with which the Mohawk could identify. In his work on Tekakwitha, Darren Bonaparte notes the parallels between some elements of Mohawk and Christian belief. For instance, the Jesuits used the word Karonhià:ke, the Mohawk name for Sky World, as the word for heaven in the Lord’s Prayer in Mohawk. "This was not just a linguistic shortcut, but a conceptual bridge from one cosmology to another."[11]

The Mohawk crossed their river to rebuild Caughnawaga on the north bank, west of the present-day town of Fonda, New York. In 1667, when Tekakwitha was 11 years old, she met the Jesuit missionaries Jacques Frémin, Jacques Bruyas, and Jean Pierron, who had come to the village.[14] Her uncle opposed any contact with them because he did not want her to convert to Christianity. One of his older daughters had already left Caughnawaga to go to Kahnawake, the Catholic mission village near Montreal.

In the summer of 1669, several hundred Mohican warriors, advancing from the east, launched a dawn attack on Caughnawaga. Rousing quickly to the defense, Mohawk villagers fought off the invaders, who kept Caughnawaga under siege for three days. Tekakwitha, now around 13 years old, joined other girls to help priest Jean Pierron tend to the wounded, bury the dead, and carry food and water to the defending warriors on the palisades.

When reinforcements arrived from other Mohawk villages, the defenders drove the Mohican warriors into retreat. The victorious Mohawk pursued the Mohican warriors, attacking them in the forest, killing over 80 and capturing several others. Returning to Caughnawaga amid widespread celebration, the victors tortured the captive Mohicans—thirteen men and four women—for two afternoons in succession, planning to execute them on the third. Pierron, now tending to the captives, implored the torturers to stop, but they ignored him. Pierron instructed the captives in Catholic doctrine as best he could and baptized them before they died under torture.[15]

Feast of the Dead

Later in 1669, the Iroquois Feast of the Dead, held every ten years, was convened at Caughnawaga. Some Oneida came, along with Onondaga led by their famous sachem Garakontié. Tekakwitha's parents, along with the many others who had died in the previous decade, were to be carefully exhumed, so that their souls could be released to wander to the spirit land to the west.[16]

Father Pierron, in a provocative speech, attacked the beliefs and logic of the Feast of the Dead. The assembled Iroquois, upset over his remarks, ordered him to be silent. But Pierron continued, exhorting the Iroquois to give up their “superstitious” rites. Still pressured, Pierron departed from the Feast but returned along with the Onondaga sachem Garakontié. Under Garakontié's protection, Pierron finished his speech. He demanded that, to secure continued friendship with the French, the Iroquois give up their Feast of the Dead, their faith in dreams as a guide to action, and the worship of their war god. At length, the assembled Iroquois relented. Exchanging gifts with priest Pierron, they promised to give up the customs he had denounced.[17] Garakontié later converted to Christianity.

A chief converts

In 1671, Mohawk chief Ganeagowa, who had led his warriors to victory against the Mohican, returned from a long hunting trip in the north to announce he had become a Christian. Traveling through the forests along the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River, he had discovered a Catholic Iroquois village set up by Jesuits a few years earlier at La Prairie, southeast of Montreal. There he made friendly contact with priest Jacques Frémin, who had served as a missionary in Mohawk country. Influenced by the Catholic faith of the Iroquois villagers and of his own wife Satékon, Ganeagowa received instruction for several months from Father Frémin, who accepted him into the Church.[18]

Family pressures

By the time Tekakwitha turned 17 around 1674, her adoptive mother (her father's sister) and aunt (uncle's sister) had become concerned over her lack of interest in young men as potential husbands. They tried to arrange her marriage to a young Mohawk man by instructing him to sit down beside her. They indicated to Tekakwitha that the young man supposedly wanted to marry her. Accordingly, they pressured her to offer him a certain dish made with corn.[19] Iroquois custom took this as a woman's sign of openness to marriage. Rather than cooperate, Tekakwitha fled the cabin and hid from her family in a nearby field. For this rebuff, Tekakwitha's aunts punished her with ridicule, threats, and harsh workloads. While submitting to their work demands, Tekakwitha stayed firm in her resistance to marriage.[20] Eventually, her aunts gave up their efforts to get her to marry.

In the spring of 1675 at age eighteen, Tekakwitha met the Jesuit Father Jacques de Lamberville. The priest was visiting those in the village. Most of the women were out harvesting corn, but Tekakwitha had injured her foot and was in the cabin.[19] In the presence of others, Tekakwitha told him her story and her desire to become a Christian. It was after this that she started studying the catechism with him.[10]

Conversion and Kahnawake

Judging her ready, Lamberville baptized Tekakwitha at the age of 19, on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1676.[21] Tekakwitha was baptized "Catherine" after St. Catherine of Siena (Kateri was the Mohawk form of the name.)[22][23]

After Catherine was baptized, she remained in Caughnawauga for another 6 months. Some Mohawks opposed her conversion and accused her of sorcery.[14] Lamberville suggested that she go to the Jesuit mission of Kahnawake, located south of Montreal on the St. Lawrence River, where other native converts had gathered. Catherine joined them in 1677.[24]

Tekakwitha was said to have put thorns on her sleeping mat and to have lain on them while praying for the conversion and forgiveness of her kinsmen. Piercing the body to draw blood was a traditional practice of the Mohawk and other Iroquois nations. She lived at Kahnawake the remaining two years of her life. She learned more about Christianity under her mentor Anastasia, who taught her about the practice of repenting for one’s sins. When the women learned of nuns, they wanted to form their own convent and created an informal association of devout women.

Father Cholonec wrote that Tekakwitha said,

I have deliberated enough. For a long time my decision on what I will do has been made. I have consecrated myself entirely to Jesus, son of Mary, I have chosen Him for husband and He alone will take me for wife.[14]

The Church considers that in 1679, with her decision on the Feast of the Annunciation, her conversion was truly completed and she became the “first virgin” among the Mohawk.[14]

Mission du Sault St. Louis: Kahnawake

The Jesuits had founded Kahnawake for the religious conversion of the natives. When it began, the natives built longhouses for residences. They also built a longhouse to be used as a chapel by the Jesuits. As a missionary settlement, Kahnawake was at risk of being attacked by nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.[10] (While it attracted other Iroquois, it was predominately Mohawk, the major tribe in eastern New York.)

After Catherine's arrival, she shared the longhouse of her older sister and her husband. She would have known other people in the longhouse who had migrated from their former village of Gandaouagué (also spelled Caughnawaga). Her mother’s close friend, Anastasia Tegonhatsiongo, was clan matron of the longhouse. Anastasia and other Mohawk women introduced Tekakwitha to the regular practices of Christianity.[10]

Chauchetière and Cholenec

Claude Chauchetière and Pierre Cholenec were Jesuit priests who played important roles in Tekakwitha’s life. Both were based in New France and in Kahnawake. Chauchetière was the first to write a biography of Tekakwitha’s life, followed by Cholenec, in 1695 and 1696, respectively.[10] Cholenec arrived in New France in 1672, before Chauchetière.[25] Father Cholenec introduced whips, hair shirts and iron girdles, traditional items of Catholic mortification, to the converts at Kahnawake so they would adopt these rather than use Mohawk practices.[10] Both Chauchetière and Tekakwitha arrived in Kahnawake the same year, in 1677.

He later wrote about having been very impressed by her, as he had not expected a native to be so pious.[26] Chauchetière came to believe that Catherine Tekakwitha was a saint. Jesuits generally thought that the natives needed Christian guidance to be set on the right path. Chauchetière acknowledged that close contact with and deeper knowledge of the natives in Kahnawake changed some of his set notions about the people and about differences among human cultures.[10] In his biography of Kateri, he stressed her "charity, industry, purity, and fortitude."[27] In contrast, Cholenec stressed her virginity, perhaps to counter stereotypes of promiscuous Indian women.[27]

Sculpture of Kateri Tekakwitha


Tekakwitha believed in the value of willingly offering suffering. Accordingly, she did not eat very much and was said to add undesirable tastes to her food. She would lie on a mat with thorns. There was a custom among some Native American peoples of the time of piercing oneself with thorns in thanksgiving for some good or an offering for the needs of one's self or others. Knowing the terrible burns given to prisoners, she burned herself. Her spiritual counselor, Anastasia, seems to have encouraged her penances. With her friend Marie-Thérèse, Tekakwitha readily took up penances. Her health had always been poor and it weakened. Marie-Thérèse sought the help of Father Chauchetière. He scolded the young women, saying that penance must be used in moderation. He told the two that they must have him approve their penances lest they become unreasonable. Tekakwitha listened to the priest. From then on, Tekakwitha practiced whatever penance the priest would allow her, but nothing more.

Friendship with Marie-Thérèse

Upon her arrival in the Christian community, Catherine befriended Marie-Thérèse. They prayed together often. Marie Skarichions told Catherine and Marie-Thérèse about women religious. Through their mutual quest, the two women had a strong "spiritual friendship," as described by the Jesuits.[10] The two women influenced a circle of associates. When they asked the Jesuits for permission to form a group of native disciples, they were told they were too "young in faith" for such a group. The women continued to practice their faith together.

Death and appearances

Around Holy Week of 1680, friends noted that Tekakwitha's health was failing. When people knew she had but a few hours left, villagers gathered together, accompanied by the priests Chauchetière and Cholenec, the latter providing the last rites.[10] Catherine Tekakwitha died at around 15:00 (3 p.m.) on Holy Wednesday, April 17, 1680, at the age of 23 or 24, in the arms of her friend Marie-Therèse. Chauchetière reports her final words were, "Jesus, Mary, I love you."[28]

After her death, the people noticed a physical change. Cholenec later wrote, “This face, so marked and swarthy, suddenly changed about a quarter of an hour after her death, and became in a moment so beautiful and so white that I observed it immediately.” Her smallpox scars were said to disappear.

Tekakwitha purportedly appeared to three individuals in the weeks after her death; her mentor Anastasia Tegonhatsiongo, her friend Marie-Therèse Tegaiaguenta, and Father Chauchetière. Anastasia said that, while crying over the death of her spiritual daughter, she looked up to see Catherine "kneeling at the foot" of her mattress, "holding a wooden cross that shone like the sun." Marie-Thérèse reported that she was awakened at night by a knocking on her wall, and a voice asked if she were awake, adding, "I’ve come to say good-bye; I’m on my way to heaven." Marie-Thérèse went outside but saw no one; she heard a voice murmur, "Adieu, Adieu, go tell the father that I’m going to heaven." Chauchetière meanwhile said he saw Catherine at her grave; he said she appeared in "baroque splendour; for two hours he gazed upon her" and "her face lifted toward heaven as if in ecstasy."[10]

Chauchetière had a chapel built near Kateri's gravesite. By 1684, pilgrimages had begun to honour her there. The Jesuits turned her bones to dust and set the ashes within the "newly rebuilt mission chapel." This symbolized her presence on earth, and her remains were sometimes used as relics for healing.


Tekakwitha's grave stone reads:

The first account of Kateri Tekakwitha was not published until 1715. Because of Tekakwitha's notable path to chastity, she is often referred to as a lily, a traditional symbol of purity among Roman Catholics and one often used for the Virgin Mary. Religious images of Tekakwitha are often decorated with a lily and cross, with feathers or turtle as cultural accessories. Colloquial terms for Tekakwitha are The Lily of the Mohawks (most notable), the Mohawk Maiden, the Pure and Tender Lily, the Flower among True Men, the Lily of Purity and The New Star of the New World. Her tribal neighbors referred to her as "the fairest flower that ever bloomed among the redmen."[29] Her virtues are considered an ecumenical bridge between Mohawk and European cultures.

Statue Kateri Tekakwitha, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe, NM.

Religious veneration

Statue of Kateri Tekakwitha by Joseph-Émile Brunet at the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, near Quebec City.

For some time after her death, Tekakwitha was considered an honorary yet unofficial patroness of Montreal, Canada, and Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Fifty years after her death, a convent for Native American nuns opened in Mexico. They have prayed for her and supported her canonization.

The process for Tekakwitha's canonization was initiated by United States Catholics at the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884, followed by Canadian Catholics. January 3, 1943, Pope Pius XII declared her venerable. She was beatified as Catherine Tekakwitha on June 22, 1980, by Pope John Paul II.[30]

On December 19, 2011, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints certified a second miracle through her intercession, signed by Pope Benedict XVI, which paved the way for pending canonization.[31] On February 18, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI decreed that Tekakwitha be canonized. Speaking in Latin, he used the form "Catharina Tekakwitha"; the official booklet of the ceremony referred to her in English and Italian, as "Kateri Tekakwitha".[32] She was canonized on October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.[28] In the official canonization rite booklet, "Catherine" is used in the English and French biographies and "Kateri" in the translation of the rite itself.[33] She is the first North American Native American woman to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

Tekakwitha is featured in four national shrines in the United States: the National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha in Fonda, New York; the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York; the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and The National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods, an open-air sanctuary in Indian River, Michigan. The latter was inspired by Kateri's habit of placing small wooden crosses throughout the woods. One statue on the grounds shows her cradling a cross in her arms, surrounded by turtles. [6]

A statue of Tekakwitha is installed outside the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. Another is installed at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Tekakwitha has been featured in recently created religious works. In 2007, the Grand Retablo, a 40-foot-high work by Spanish artisans, was installed behind the main altar of the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, California. It features Catherine Tekakwitha, Junipero Serra, St. Joseph, and Francis of Assisi.[34][35]

A bronze statue of Kateri kneeling in prayer was installed in 2008, created by artist Cynthia Hitschler,[36] along the devotional walkway leading to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wisconsin.[37]

  • The Maryknoll Sisters at 10 Pinesbridge Rd, Ossening, NY have had a statue of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha on their grounds since 1939. It was a gift of the family of Mary Theodore Farley, a Sister of Maryknoll. The statue honors the Maryknoll Sisters' origins as a U.S. mission congregation.[39]
  • A statue of St. Kateri Tekakwitha was installed in the courtyard of St. Patrick's church in the St. Stanislaus Kostka parish of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[40]
  • A garden section of the Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum in North Arlington, New Jersey has been dedicated to the memory of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha and contains a life-size bronze statue of the saint releasing a flight of doves.[41]
  • A Place of Hope Shrine of St. Kateri is located in Paris, Ohio, dedicated by Victoria Summers (Oneida) to honor the miracles of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

Reputed miracles

A statue of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha in Saint John Neumann Catholic Church, Sunbury, Ohio

Joseph Kellogg was a Protestant child captured by Natives in the eighteenth century and eventually returned to his home. Twelve months later, he caught smallpox. The Jesuits helped treat him, but he was not recovering. They had relics from Tekakwitha’s grave, but did not want to use them on a non-Catholic. One Jesuit told Kellogg that, if he would become a Roman Catholic, help would come to him. Joseph did so. The Jesuit gave him a piece of decayed wood from Kateri's coffin, which is said to have made him heal. The historian Allan Greer takes this account to mean that Tekakwitha was known in 18th-century New France, and she was already perceived to have healing abilities.[10]

Other alleged miracles were attributed to Kateri: Father Rémy recovered his hearing and a nun in Montreal was cured by using items formerly belonging to Catherine. In those times, such incidents were evidence that Catherine was possibly a saint. Following the death of a person, sainthood is symbolized by events that show the rejection of death. It is also represented by a duality of pain and a neutralisation of the other’s pain (all shown by her reputed miracles in New France).[10] Father Chauchetière told settlers in La Prairie to pray to Catherine for intercession with illnesses. Due to the Jesuits' superior system of publicizing material, his words and Catherine’s fame were said to reach Jesuits in China and their converts.[10]

As people believed in her healing powers, some collected earth from her gravesite and wore it in bags as a relic. One woman said she was saved from pneumonia ("grande maladie du rhume"); she gave the pendant to her husband, who was healed from his disease.[10]

On December 19, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI approved the second miracle needed for Kateri's canonization.[42] The authorized miracle dates from 2006, when a young boy in Washington state survived a severe flesh-eating bacterium. Doctors had been unable to stop the progress of the disease by surgery and advised his parents he was likely to die. The boy received the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick from a Catholic priest. As the boy is half Lummi Indian, the parents said they prayed through Tekakwitha for divine intercession, as did their family and friends, and an extended network contacted through their son's classmates.[43] A Catholic nun, Sister Kateri Mitchell, visited the boy's bedside and placed a relic of Tekakwitha, a bone fragment, against his body and prayed together with his parents.[44] The next day, the infection stopped its progression.[45]


Mohawk scholar Orenda Boucher noted that despite extensive support for Tekakwitha's canonization, some traditional Mohawk see her as a connection to colonialism and neither embodying nor reflecting Mohawk womanhood.[46]

Cultural references

The historian K. I. Koppedrayer has suggested that the Catholic Church fathers' hagiography of Tekakwitha reflected "some of the trials and rewards of the European presence in the New World."[14] Based on accounts from two Jesuit priests who knew her, at least 300 books have been published in more than 20 languages on the life of Kateri Tekakwitha.[11]

In addition, Tekakwitha has been featured in novels:

In an episode of French/Spanish animation series Clémentine, the time-travelling main character Clémentine Dumant meets and befriends Tekakwitha, helping her to overcome the stigma she bore in her tribe for both her conversion and her God-given abilities.


Blessed Kateri devotional medal.

Numerous churches, schools and other Catholic institutions have been named for her, including several Catholic elementary schools in Ontario. Among these are Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School in Markham,[47] St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School in Hamilton,[48] and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School.[49] in Ottawa, Saint Kateri is the patron saint of John Cabot Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga.

The St. Kateri Tekakwitha School in Schenectady, New York was so named after her canonization. The St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, also located in Schenectady, was founded by merging the Our Lady of Fatima and St. Helen's churches. A cluster parish was formed in Irondequoit, New York in 2010, taking the name Blessed Kateri Parish; later changing the name to Saint Kateri after her canonization. Kateri Residence, an Archdiocese of New York Catholic Charities nursing home in Manhattan, New York, is named for her.

The St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church in Valencia, California, holds a statue of her in the church.[50][51] A statue of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is placed at the steps of Holy Cross School at San Buenaventura Mission in southern California to honor the local Native American Chumash people, who helped build and sustain the Mission until the 1840s.[52]

Tekakwitha is featured at Camp Ondessonk, a Catholic youth camp in southern Illinois. One of the cabin units is named after her. She is one of the namesakes of Camp Ondessonk's honor society, The Lodges of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha.


  1. ^ Pierre Cholence, S.J., "Catharinae Tekakwitha, Virginis" (1696), Acta Apostolica Sedis, January 30, 1961
  2. ^ The Life and Times of Kateri Tekakwitha: Ellen Haldin Walworth Pg. 253-254 -
  3. ^ Pierre Cholenec, S.J. (1696). The Life of Catherine Tekakwitha, First Iroquois Virgin. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  4. ^ Claude Chauchetiere, S.J. (1695). "The Life of the Good Catherine Tekakwitha, said now Saint Catherine Tekakwitha". Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  5. ^ Saint Juan Diego and two other Oaxacan Indians preceded and were first accorded this honor.
  6. ^ Pope Canonizes 7 Saints, Including 2 With New York Ties, The New York Times, 22 October 2012.
  7. ^ EWTN Televised Broadcast: "Public Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals", Rome, February 18, 2012. Saint Peter's Basilica. Closing remarks before recession preceded by Cardinal Agostino Vallini.
  8. ^ [7]
  9. ^ Juliette Lavergne, La Vie gracieuse de Catherine Tekakwitha, Editions A.C.F., Montreal, 1934, pp. 13-43
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Greer, Allan (2005). Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–205. 
  11. ^ a b c Darren Bonaparte (Mohawk), "A Lily Among Thorns: The Mohawk Repatriation of Káteri Tekahkwí:tha", presented at 30th Conference on New York State History, 5 June 2009, Plattsburgh, New York, accessed 25 July 2012
  12. ^ Francis X. Weiser, S.J. Kateri Tekakwitha, Kateri Center, Caughnawaga, Canada, 1972, p. 34.
  13. ^ Daniel Sargent, Catherine Tekakwitha, Longmans, Green & Co., New York, 1936, p. 164.
  14. ^ a b c d e Koppedrayer, K. I. "The Making of the First Iroquois Virgin: Early Jesuit Biographies of the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha". Ethnohistory (Duke University Press): 277–306.  
  15. ^ Francis X. Weiser, S.J. Kateri Tekakwitha, Kateri Center, Caughnawaga, Canada, 1972, pp. 50-2.
  16. ^ Daniel Sargent, Catherine Tekakwitha, Longmans, Green & Co., New York, 1936, p. 167. Also, J.N.B. Hewitt, “The Iroquoian Concept of the Soul,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 8, Boston, 1895, p. 109.
  17. ^ Daniel Sargent, Catherine Tekakwitha, Longmans, Green & Co., New York, 1936, pp. 167-8.
  18. ^ Francis X. Weiser, S.J. Kateri Tekakwitha, Kateri Center, Caughnawaga, Canada, 1972, p. 61.
  19. ^ a b Rev. Edward Sherman (2007). Tekakwitha Holy Native, Mohawk Virgin 1656-1680. Grand Forks, ND: Fine Print Inc. p. 106. 
  20. ^ Edward Lecompte, S.J., Glory of the Mohawks: The Life of the Venerable Catherine Tekakwitha, translated by Florence Ralston Werum, FRSA, Bruce Publishing Co., Milwaukee, 1944, p. 28; Francis X. Weiser, S.J., Kateri Tekakwitha, Kateri Center, Caughnawaga, Canada, 1972, pp. 65-8.
  21. ^ Lodi, Enzo (1992). Saints of the Roman Calendar (Eng. Trans.). New York: Alba House. p. 419.  
  22. ^  
  23. ^ Greer, Allan (2005). Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits. Oxford University Press. pp. 196–197. 
  24. ^ Dominique Roy et Marcel Roy (1995). Je Me Souviens: Histoire du Québec et du Canada. Ottawa: Éditions du Renouveau Pédagogique Inc. p. 32. 
  25. ^ Béchard, Henri. "Cholenec, Pierre". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  26. ^ Jaenen, C. J. "Chauchetière, Claude". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  27. ^ a b Mohawk SaintLeslie Choquette, Review: Allan Greer, , H-France Review, Vol. 5 (October 2005), No. 109; accessed 25 July 2012
  28. ^ a b Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
  29. ^ Bunson, Margaret and Stephen, "Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of this Mohawks," Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions brochure, p. 1
  30. ^ LIII (1961), p. 82Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Note: The official beatification register postulated by Rev. Anton Witwer, S.J. to the Roman Catholic Church bears her name as Catherine. The 1961 edition of Acta Apostolicae Sedis refers in Latin to her cause of beatification as that of "Ven. Catharinae Tekakwitha, virginis".
  31. ^ "Pope OKs 7 New Saints, Including Hawaii’s Marianne". Salon. December 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  32. ^ Concistoro Ordinario Pubblico ... Basilica Vaticana, 18 febbraio 2012, pp. 33–39
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  34. ^ Ignatin, Heather (April 19, 2007). "Retablo draws crowds at Mission Basilica".  
  35. ^ "Grand Retablo en Route to San Juan Capistrano, Installation expected March 19", Mission San Juan Capistrano, 9 February 2007
  36. ^ "Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks: Bronze, Height 55". Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  37. ^ "Mohawk Woman Enshrined at Shrine" (Orso, Joe), La Crosse Tribune, 31 July 2008:[9]
  38. ^ Reports, Staff. "Lewiston: Statue Dedication at Fatima". Niagara Gazette. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  39. ^ Sept/Oct 2012. Vol 106. Number 5.Maryknoll Magazine,"Lily of the Mohawks," pgs 31,32,
  40. ^ "Kateri Tekakwitha" Saints in the Strip website
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  43. ^ Discepolo, John (December 20, 2011). "Vatican calls Whatcom boy's survival a miracle". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  44. ^ "Kateri Tekakwitha: First Catholic Native American saint". BBC News. October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  45. ^ "Boy's miracle cure makes first Native American saint". Associated Press. October 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  46. ^ "1st Native American saint stirs pride, skepticism". 
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Further reading

  • Beauchamp, W.M. “Mohawk Notes,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 8, Boston, 1895, pp. 217–221. Also, “Iroquois Women,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 13, Boston, 1900, pp. 81–91.
  • Béchard, Henri, S.J. The Original Caughnawaga Indians. Montreal: International Publishers, 1976.
  • Béchard, Henri, S.J. "Tekakwitha". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966), vol. 1.
  • Cholonec, Rev. Pierre. "Kateri Tekakwitha: The Iroquois Saint". (Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing, 2012) ISBN 978-1935228097.
  • Cohen, Leonard. "Beautiful Losers", Published in 1966 by McClelland and Stewart.
  • Fenton, William, and Elisabeth Tooker. “Mohawk,” in Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 15: Northeast, edited by Bruce G. Trigger. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978.
  • Greer, Allan. Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005
  • Hewitt, J.N.B. “The Iroquoian Concept of the Soul,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 8, Boston, 1895, pp. 107–116.
  • Lecompte, Edward, S.J. Glory of the Mohawks: The Life of the Venerable Catherine Tekakwitha, translated by Florence Ralston Werum, FRSA. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co., 1944.
  • Litkowski, Mary Pelagia, O.P. Kateri Tekakwitha: Joyful Lover. Battle Creek, Michigan: Growth Unlimited Inc., 1989.
  • Sargent, Daniel. Catherine Tekakwitha. New York and Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co., 1936.
  • Shoemaker, Nancy. "Kateri Tekakwitha's Tortuous Path to Sainthood," in Nancy Shoemaker, ed. Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women (New York: Routledge, 1995), p. 49–71.
  • Steckley, John. Beyond their Years: Five Native Women's Stories, Canadian Scholars Press 1999 ISBN 978-1551301501
  • Weiser, Francis X., S.J. Kateri Tekakwitha. Caughnawaga, Canada: Kateri Center, 1972.

External links

  • "Kateri Tekakwitha", Canadian Dictionary of Biography Online
  • Kateri Tekakwitha website
  • "Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha", Catholic Forum
  • "Kateri's Life", Lily of the Mohawks website
  • "Blessed Kateri, Model Ecologist", Conservation
  • "Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha". New Advent  
  • Barbara Bradley Hagerty, "A Boy, An Injury, A Recovery, A Miracle?", NPR, 4 November 2011
  • LORRAINE MALLINDER, "Holy Rivalry Over Kateri", Montreal Gazette, 20 March 2010
  • "Masochism and Sainthood: Kateri Tekakwitha and Junípero Serra," by Daniel Fogel
  • The homily preached by Pope Benedict XVI at the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha October 21, 2012
  • "Sketch of Life of Indian Maid, Kateri Tekakwitha" from April 23, 1915 issue of the Recorder-Democrat a semiweekly publication, Amsterdam, NY
  • Account of location of Ossernon birthplace written by Jesuit Fr. Loyzance (the original purchaser of the land at Auriesville) from St. Johnsville Enterprise and News November 28, 1934
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