ST. KATERI TEKAWITHA (1656 – 1680)
Feast Days: July 14 in USA, April 17 in Canada
Daughter of a Christian Algonquin mother and pagan Mohawk chieftain father she was born in Auriesville, New York. Suffered facial disfigurement and impaired eyesight after smallpox epidemic which killed her parents and baby brother. Raised by her father’s Mohawk relatives she was persecuted and ostracized for her Christian beliefs and eventually fled to a Christian settlement near Montreal.
Kateri made her First Communion on Christmas, 1677. Known for her love for nature and the elderly, she died on Wednesday of Holy Week, April 17, 1680. Moments after her death witnesses testify to seeing her scarred face turn smooth and soft as a lily. Nicknamed “Lily of the Mohawks” she was canonized by Pope Benedict on October 21, 2012.
Patroness of ecology, the environment, young adults and abused children.