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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Essay

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St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who is also known as “Lily of the Mohawks”, “Genevieve of New France”, and “Pocahontas of the Catholic Church”, was born approximately in the year 1656 near Auriesville, New York, into the Mohawk tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy. Due to her being born such a long time ago, some details about her early life are uncertain. Her father was a mighty and well-respected Mohawk warrior, and some even suspect that he was chief of the tribe. Tekakwitha’s mother’s background is almost completely unknown. Some speculate that she was a Christian Algonquin, who was captured by an Iroquois, but saved by Tekakwitha’s father.
One thing everyone can agree on is that Tekakwitha’s father, mother, and brother died of small pox when she was only four. She did not escape death’s grips unscathed, the disease disfigured her face and her eyesight was impaired. In Native American culture, it is not uncommon to earn your name from characteristics, so it is believed that Tekakwitha can be translated to “One Who Bumps Into Things”, as stated on page 18 of Emily Cavins’s Lily of the Mohawks.
After Tekakwitha’s parents passed away, her two aunts and more notably, her uncle, who is believed by some to be chief of the Turtle clan, took her in. Since there aren’t many records of her life at this point, there are only educated guesses of what her childhood into her mid-teen years held in store for Tekakwitha.
One theory is that Tekakwitha’s uncle opposed Christianity, and that she learned the ways and teachings of the Catholic Church in secret. Other clan members scorned her, but her uncle finally came to realize her passion for Christ and gave her his blessing to be baptized, as long as she stayed in the clan’s village. After a while, th...


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....com. Rome Reports, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. .
2. Cavins, Emily. Lily of the Mohawks. Cincinnati, OH: Servant, 2013. Print.
3. "Kateri's Pathway to Sainthood." Katerishrine.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. .
4. Lavanga, Claudio. "Kateri Tekakwitha Named First Native American Saint in Vatican Ceremony." Newsgroup. Worldnews.nbcnews.com. NBC News, 21 Oct. 2012. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. .
5. "St. Kateri Tekakwitha." Catholic.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. .
6. "St. Kateri Tekakwitha." Ewtn.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. .



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