Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656 – 1680), is known popularly as the “Lily of the Mohawks” and the “Geneviève of New France.” Kateri was born in the Mohawk area of Ossemenon in New York State, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior and a Catholic Algonquin woman whom he had saved from captivity at the hands of the Iroquois. By the time she four years old smallpox killed her parents and her brother; she was left her scarred and with impaired eyesight.
Adopted by her uncle, the chief of the Turtle clan, and Kateri had many offers of marriage. The Jesuit missionaries (the Black Robes) gave some knowledge of the Catholic faith to Kateri that gave her the desire to live life not only as a Christian but as a virgin: a heroic determination at the time. However, Kateri was not baptized until she was 20. Because of her virtue she experienced persecution and death threats, she fled to the established Christian community at Kahnawake in Québec. Observers testify that Kateri advanced in communio with God taking on bodily mortifications with intense prayer; she died at the age of 24. Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 22 June 1980.