The daughter of a Mohawk chieftain, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656. Both her parents died when she was 6, from smallpox. She was adopted by her aunt and uncle, who became the next chief. Her Aunt Teedah tried to marry her off to many men, but Kateri refused.
She ran away to the Black Robes (priests) and was baptised and received the Blessed Sacrament around the age of 17. She died at the age of 24, on the 17 of April, 1680. Her last words were, “Jesus Christ”.
Kateri was beatified in 1980, and became Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks. She is the first Native American to become a Blessed. Her feast day is July 14. She is the patroness of the environment and ecology.
Today, Sunday, 21st of October, 2012, this strong woman will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI. After today, she will be known as St. Catherine Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church..