The Vatican canonized Kateri Tekakwitha: Mohawk’s first saint
October 22, 2012
Kateri Tekakwitha, the “Lily of the Mohawks’, is the first Native American canonized by the Vatican, and from this Sunday she joined the saints of the Catholic religion.
The canonization was Sunday at the Vatican, particularly expected in Auriesville village where Kateri Tekakwitha was born, more than 350 years ago.
The Mohicans had captured Kateri’s mother in a time when the English colonists, French and Dutch competed for control of territory, entering with weapons and disease.
A smallpox epidemic devastated many lives, including parents and a younger brother of Kateri who survived, although the disease left him visible scars and affected his eyesight, calling, ‘Tekakwitha’.
The missionary Pierre Cholenec, who lived in the community at the time reported: ‘She made a vow of chastity and subjected to an intense regimen of self-punishment, which included walking barefoot in the snow and ice, hot coals placed between the toes foot until they cooled and sleep on a bed of thorns’.
‘She tortured her body in every possible way, with endless vigils, fasting, cold, heat, irons, belts studded with sharp points, with lashes that opened the shoulder several times a week’.