Saint Kateri was born as the daughter of a Mohawk warrior and a Christian Algonquin mother. Saint Kateri is known as the Lily of the Mohawks. Both of her parents died when she was four. Her life, in many ways, reflects that of Saint Therese, the Little Flower, who also lost her mother at the age of four and like Saint Kateri, died at the age of 24. Saint Kateri's parents both died of smallpox. Saint Kateri also contracted the disease but survived, but her face was left disfigured. She was often seen with a blanket over her head to hide her face.
Saint Kateri was baptized as a teenager and was rejected by her tribe. She courageously left her home and moved to a region near Montreal, Canada. Saint Kateri remained devoted to both the Eucharist and Christ Crucified. She would wait outside the chapel at 4:00 in the morning, despite the bitter cold, and stayed until after the last Mass. Saint Kateri was committed to the care of the sick and aged. She also took a vow of virginity at the age of 23; an unprecedented act for an Indian woman.
Saint Kateri was the first Native American to be beatified. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1980 and on October 21, 2012, Saint Kateri was canonized by Pope Benedict the XVI.