Feast Day: July 14
After explorers came to North America,
missionaries followed. They brought the good news of God’s love
for all people. Many Native Americans accepted this good news, but others
The Mohawk nation lived in what is now the state of New York. These Native
Americans did not like people who tried to change their ways. So they
killed a number of missionaries.
This was the nation into which Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656. Her
father was a Mohawk warrior. A few years later, both her mother and father
died of smallpox. Kateri lived, but the disease scarred her face for life,
so she looked different.
Then, when Kateri was 20, she began to act differently too. That is because
a missionary baptized her and she became a Christian. So the people in
her Mohawk village began to make fun of her, throw rocks at her, spit
at her. They had put Christians to death a few years before, so Kateri
feared for her life.
In the dark of night, Kateri fled her village. She walked 200 miles through
the heavily wooded forest to Montreal, Canada. There she found many Christians
In the next four years, Kateri taught children about God. She cared for
the sick and elderly. When she died in 1680, many people mourned the death
of this holy woman, who was only 24 years old.