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Happy Thanksgiving & St. Kateri Tekakwitha

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Happy Thanksgiving & St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. I want to wish all my American friends a wonderful holiday. As bad as the times are, and I’ve never seen them like this in my adult life, there are many more things we should be thankful for. Life is good. Here’s a little historical perspective.

And here’s something silly to enjoy.

(Oops, only one video embedded at a time, so I'll only leave the link. Follow the link, though; it's cute.)

And finally in the spirit of forming closer bonds with our Native American countrymen, I want to highlight a newly canonized saint in the Catholic Church, St. Kateri Tekekwitha, the first Native American Catholic saint.

On Oct. 21, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonized seven new saints for the Church. One of them is a Native American, a Mohawk maiden by the name of Kateri Tekakwitha. A convert to the Christian faith, St. Kateri is honored as the first Native American saint (joining St. Juan Diego as the first indigenous saints of North America), a patron saint of ecology, a mystic and a demonstration that holiness is not limited by time or culture. But who was this “Lily of the Mohawks”?

The future saint was born at Ossernenon, in present-day New York state, near modern Auriesville and Albany, into the proud traditions of the Mohawk Indians, members of the famed Iroquois League that for several centuries dominated much of the northeastern regions of North America. It is believed that she was born in 1656.


Her name was originally Tekakwitha, or Tegarouite (translated by some scholars as meaning “she who puts things in order”), or as Tegahkouita (translated as meaning “one who advances or cuts the way before her”). Her father was a Mohawk chief of some prominence, and her mother was probably an Algonquin woman, named Kahenta, who had been captured during a Mohawk raid, but who had been taken as a wife and given full rights in the Mohawk nation. Tekakwitha’s mother was also a Christian, having been baptized and catechized at the Catholic mission in Quebec.
You can read the rest here,, on how she came to leave her village and live in a refuge for Native American Catholics near Montreal. The article is overtly religious as a warning to those that don’t like that sort of stuff, but it’s the fullest story of her life I could find. From the moment I heard about her canonization, I felt a particular attachment to her. There’s something endearing about her story.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Joreads's Avatar
    I hope you had a lovely day
  2. Virgil's Avatar
    We did. Thank you.