July 14 is the memorial of St. Kateri Tekawitha, the first Native American saint. The “Lily of the Mohawks”
Converting to Christianity through the work of Jesuit missionaries who had come to her village in New York, she was devout in her faith and consecrated herself to virginity in spite of the repercussions of such an act, and without knowledge that was a desirable action.
She left her village to remove herself from the pagan practices of her people, walking to Sault St. Louis near Montreal, a 200 mile journey. There she deepened her faith, practicing an austere life that included severe fasting.
There is much to be told about her life, and a wonderful resource is at the website Kateri.org where her story is laid out beautifully.
Her day of canonization by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012 was a great day of celebration for the Catholic community on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.
St. Kateri Tekawitha, pray for us.