6:13PM BST 21 Oct 2012
The canonisation of the seven new saints marks the beginning of the “Year of
Faith” for the
Vatican, aimed at overcoming a rise in secularism in the West.
Saint Kateri, informally referred to as “Lily of the Mohawks”, lived in what
is now the border between the US and Canada.
She is worshipped by followers of native religions as well as Catholics.
Speaking to a huge crowd in brilliant sunshine in St. Peter’s Square, Pope
“Kateri Tekakwitha was born in today’s New York state in 1656 to a Mohawk
father and a Christian Algonquin mother who gave to her a sense of the
living God. She was baptised at 20-years of age and, to escape persecution,
she took refuge in Saint Francis Xavier Mission near Montreal.”
“Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first native American saint, we
entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of
North America. May God bless the first nations.”
The six other individuals beatified in the ceremony haled from the
Philippines, France, Italy, Spain and Germany and the US.