Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  130 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 130 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

102 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

She died on April 7, 1680. Witnesses said her last words were, “Jesus, I

love you.” They also testified that the smallpox scars on her face vanished.

In death she was radiant and beautiful.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is the first North American Indian to be

declared Blessed. Her Feast Day is July 14. Along with St. Francis of Assisi,

she is the patroness of the environment and ecology. She is popularly

known as the “Lily of the Mohawks.”

Pope John Paul II addressed six hundred Native Americans on the

occasion of Kateri’s beatification. Noting that Blessed Kateri is a witness to

their faith, he said,

You have come to rejoice in the beatification of Kateri Tekakwitha.

It is a time to pause and give thanks to God for the unique culture

and rich human tradition which you have inherited, and for the

greatest gift anyone can receive, the gift of faith. (



[June 22, 1980]: 13)

The Holy Spirit works in the hearts of all who are baptized, but the

power of his gifts is most evident in the lives of extraordinary witnesses to

faith such as Blessed Kateri.



Just before his Ascension, Jesus said these words to the Apostles: “You

will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be

my witnesses in Jerusalem, [in all] Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of

the earth” (Acts 1:8).

These words of Christ to the Apostles are also addressed to each

believer. The Holy Spirit comes to us as a teacher of the meaning and

depth of Revelation. He also fills us with power, the grace to understand

the Church’s teachings and the wisdom to see how they apply to our

lives. Finally, the Spirit puts courage into our hearts so that we can wit-

ness what we believe to believer and unbeliever alike.

10 For more information about Blessed Kateri, see texts from the Tekakwitha Conference

National Center reprinted online at .