Magazine article Anglican Journal

Mohawk Saint Canonized

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Mohawk Saint Canonized

Article excerpt

Judy Smith-Martin waited 32 years for Kateri Tekakwitha to become the first Mohawk saint. And when the Vatican set her canonization for Oct. 21, she went to Rome to fulfill a promise.

Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II.

Smith-Martin didn't go alone. She convinced 20 other parishioners and members of her community to go with her, including the Rev. Norm Casey--her parish priest at St. Peter's Anglican Church, where Smith-Martin works as secretary. St. Peter's is one of four Anglican churches that make up the Six Nations Parish, located southeast of Brantford, Ont.

It doesn't matter that Kateri Tekakwitha is a Catholic saint, said Smith-Martin, who is Anglican. "She's a Mohawk and I'm a Mohawk. She's still a saint for the Mohawks. It's a great honour," she said in an interview.

Saint Kateri was born in 1656 in Ossemenon, now present-day New York, to a Catholic Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father. She was four years old when her mother died of smallpox, a disease that Kateri survived, albeit with a scarred face. …

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