Saint of the day: Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Mohawk
"Kateri Tekakwitha, the "Lily of the Mohawks," is the first Native American to be beatified. She was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656 to a Christian Algonquin woman and a pagan Mohawk chief.

When she was a child a smallpox epidemic attacked her tribe and both her parents died. She was left permanently scarred with a pocked face and impaired eyesight. Her uncle, who had now become chief of the tribe adopted her and her aunts began planning her marriage while she was still very young.

When three Jesuit fathers were visiting the tribe in 1667 and staying in the tent of her uncle, they spoke to her of Christ, and though she was still not and did not ask to be baptized, she believed in Jesus with an incredible intensity. She also realized that she was called into an intimate union with God as a consecrated virgin.

She had to struggle to maintain her faith amidst the opposition of her tribe who ridiculed her for it. When she was 18, Fr. Jacques de Lamberville returned to the Mohawk village and she asked to be baptized."

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Saint of the day: BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA, VIRGIN (Catholic News Agency 7/14)