Tekakwitha Feast Day

Tekakwitha (Kateri) Feast Day

July 14
The first Native American to be beatified, Kateri Tekakwitha (1656–1680) is a venerated figure among both Catholics and Native Americans as well as the patroness of ecology and the environment. Catholic churches—in particular those named after her or based in places connected to her legacy—hold mass on her feast day, during which congregants may offer prayers to God through her intercession.
Known as the "Lily of the Mohawk," Tekakwitha was born in upstate New York to a Christian Algonquin mother and a non-Christian Mohawk father. She was baptized in 1656. Acutely aware that her newfound faith did not make her popular with her village, she moved to a Christian community near Montreal, Canada. Up until her death at the age of 24, she devoted herself to prayer, fasting, and service. Witnesses at her deathbed reported that her facial scars, left by a bout with smallpox, suddenly disappeared after she died. Her legacy has inspired a campaign for her sainthood. In 1980 Pope John Paul II declared her "Blessed"—the last designation made by the Church before someone officially becomes a saint.
Among the North American churches and shrines sites that have noteworthy feast day celebrations are the National Kateri Shrine in Fonda, New York, where she had her first encounter with Christianity; and the Kateri Center at the Saint Francis-Xavier Mission at Kahnawake, Quebec, where she lived following her conversion.
National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
P.O. Box 627
Fonda, NY
Kateri Tekakwitha Center
St. Francis Xavier Mission
P.O. Box 70
Kahnawake, QC Canada
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.