St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Feast day: July 14

In 1656, Kateri was born to a Christian Algonquian mother and a heathen Mohawk chief. When she was only four years old, Kateri lost both of her parents and her brother to a smallpox epidemic.

Kateri vowed perpetual virginity on March 25, 1679, pledging to remain single and fully committed to Jesus. Kateri wanted to establish a Native American nuns' convent at Sault St. Louis, but she was forbidden from doing so.

Kateri was a devoted person who was well-known for her love to God. She also had a serious illness. Her self-mortification and denial habits might not have been beneficial to her health. Sadly, she fell ill and died at the age of 24 on April 17, 1680, only five years after converting to Catholicism.

Native Catholics and others pushed for Kateri's canonization by the Catholic Church for a very long time. In 1943, the Church bestowed veneration upon Kateri. She became the first female Native American and First Nations saint after being beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012.


O Great Lily of the Mohawks, we ask that you take our intentions to the foot of the cross. Ask Jesus to bring healing to those who are heavily burdened. Through your intercession, may this favor be granted if it is according to the will of God. By your prayer, help us always to remain faithful to Jesus and to his Holy Church. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us. Amen.

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