St. Kateri Tekakwitha was the first Native American saint to be canonized.
Kateri’s mother was a Christian. When she was about 4 years old, a smallpox outbreak in her village took the lives of her parents and scarred her face and eyes. Kateri was instructed in the Catholic faith by Jesuits and was baptized as a teenager.
She refused to marry and consecrated herself to Jesus. Her attempts to practice her faith were resisted by her relatives and leaders in the tribe but Kateri persisted despite the many obstacles which were placed in her path and the hostility of her family. She later moved to another village about 200 miles away where she lived in a Christian community.
St. Kateri adds the grace of Native American cultures to our company of saints. These cultures have shown us how to live in harmony with God’s creation. For this reason, St. Kateri Tekakwitha’s patronages include ecology and the environment. Read more.
She died in 1680 at the age of 24. She is called “The Lily of the Mohawks”.
Her feast day is July 14.
Patron Saint of …
She is the patron saint of ecology, environmentalism, those who have lost their parents, people in exile, and Native Americans.
Daily Mass Readings for the Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin
The readings for the memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha may be taken from the Common of Virgins.
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Who will teach me what is most pleasing to God, that I may do it?
The American Saints Activity series helps families learn more about American saints in hopes that they will look to them as role models. One of the offerings in the series is based on the life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
To earn the patch, youth and adults must learn about the life of St. Kateri. Then they participate in their choice of activities based on what they have learned. For St. Kateri, the activities include drawing a picture, writing a prayer about nature, and visiting a children’s hospital or senior citizen’s home. Read more.