Kateri Tekakwitha Research Paper

874 Words 4 Pages
Life occasionally produces a tragic event or an unfortunate experience which brings a state of hopelessness. No matter the magnitude of these occurrences, they have the power to turn a life in the opposite direction. These events are turning points which give individuals the opportunity to better themselves as well as those around them. Kateri Tekakwitha experiences a great loss during her early years which leads to a turning point later in her life. Tekakwitha uses her suffering to help others through altruism and benevolence.
A series of unrelated events during Tekakwitha’s childhood led to her conversion to Catholicism in 1676. Kateri Tekakwitha, who is also known as Lily of the Mohawks, had a ruthless childhood when “her parents and brother
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Tekakwitha’s life changed

Figure 1. Painting of Kateri Tekakwitha clutching a cross (“Tekakwitha Kateri”).

beyond return the day Jacques de Lamberville dipped her head under water while making the sign of the cross (Bowden). Following Tekakwitha’s Baptism, she slept on a bed of thorns, constantly fasted, arranged for a flagellation, stood in the snow for hours praying the rosary and whipped herself with reeds until her back bled in atonement for her sins (“Kateri Tekakwitha”). In her debilitated state, Tekakwitha made the trip up to Montreal, where she took the vow of chastity and became a nun (see figure 2) (“Kateri Tekakwitha”). “The priests advised that she should wait

Figure 2. Painting of Kateri Tekakwitha dressed in her veil
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“People present at Tekakwitha’s death said that her face, once marked by scars, became clear and beautiful” like a sheet of ice covering a lake (“Tekakwitha Saint”). Tekakwitha receives recognition for her first miracle. Eight days after her death, a man bedridden with smallpox prayed with the cross laid over the top of Tekakwitha's grave and fell into a deep slumber. The healing of the man became noticed when he awoke (“Kateri Tekakwitha”). Many similar miracles were given credit to Tekakwitha. Tekakwitha became the first North American Indian to be canonized a saint 1 in the Roman Catholic Church (“Tekakwitha Saint”). Tekakwitha was first recognized as a martyr because she died for her faith. The miracles Tekakwitha was responsible for made her canonization process begin. Tekakwitha was named patron saint of nature due to her close connection with the outdoors in her pre-conversion

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