"After this I saw a great multitude,
which no one could number,
of all nations, and tribes, and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne, and in the sight of the Lamb,
clothed with with white robes, and palms in their hands."

Kateri was beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 22, 1980.
Her feast is celebrated on July 14th.

A Short History

Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Ossernenon (Gandahouhague), today called Auresville, in 1656, at an Iroquois/ Mohawk village of the Turtle Clan, located on the south bank of the Mohawk River. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin named Kahenta who had been captured by the Iroquois and judged worthy of slavery by elder women. Kenhoronkwa, the village chief, took notice of her and married Kahenta. From this union was born a girl "kateri". When she was four years old, an epidemic of smallpox struck the village killing her parents and baby brother. Kateri survived but was left half blind, her face scarred and she was sickly throughout her life. In 1666 amidst the barbarity of war between the French and the Iroquois, the Turtle Clan moved their village on the north side of the Mohawk River which became known as Caughnawaga Castle.

Please click image for Archeological Site inverstigation

This is the archeological site of Caughnawaga (Fonda, NY) which is marked off showing the village dimensions, the outer walls of the longhouses and even where the benches and beds stood.

In this village Tekakwitha first encountered the Jesuits who taught the Christian faith. At age 20, after much opposition from her uncle, she received religious instructions and Fr. James de Lamberville baptized her on Easter Sunday, April 5th, 1676 receiving the name of Kateri meaning Katherine.



It became very difficult for Kateri to live her Christian faith due to the varied opposition of her people. So in 1677 she left the village in secret in the company of three Christian warriors for the Jesuit Mission of St. Francis Xavier near Montreal Canada. Her adoptive uncle, Iowerano, who was the chief, became furious when he found out. He searched for her along the river and in the woods but failed to find her.

At the mission she received her first Holy Communion on Christmas Day 1677. On March 25, 1979, feast of the Annunciation, she made a vow of virginity.


Kateri Cont.