Lily of the Mohawks

Today is the feast day of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, virgin, Iroquois, Lily of the Mohawk. She was born and raised in what is now upper New York state. Orphaned at an early age, smallpox marred her face and severely limited her vision.  When a Jesuit missionary visited she sought to be baptized in the faith of her mother. She became a Catholic at the age of twenty and then, because of the pressure, left for a Catholic mission near Montreal, Canada. She died April 17 1680 in Caughnawaga, Canada, at the age of twenty-four. She is the first native American region recognized as a blessed.

“I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I’ll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick, and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure.”

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