Saint Kateri Tekakwitha – Lily of the Mohawks

July 13, 2015

St. Kateri Tekakwitha – Lily of the Mohawks

kateri1

Family, we went to Canada to make a program on the North American

Martyrs. There are two shrines, we found out, one in Ontario Canada, and

one in New York State, near Albany. Penny felt that the program could not

be complete until we went to New York State to make the program on the

three martyrs who were tortured and killed in an Indian camp called

Ossernenon, which is today Auriesville, near Albany. The expense was going to be high, and we had just spent a great deal of money financing the trip to all the Shrines in Canada. So, we as a community prayed on it, and Penny decided that we were going to New York State.

The custodian priest there at Ossernenon was very helpful, and told us that although the Blackrobes pulled their evangelization efforts out of those two areas after the deaths of St. Isaac Jogues, St. René Goupil and St. John Lalande, there was one bright light that rose up from the blood of the martyrs, Kateri Tekakwitha, who has since become the first Native American Saint. She was born at Ossernenon, and lived a peaceful, joy filled life there, being taught about Jesus until a smallpox plague ravaged the village. It took the lives of most of the villagers, including Kateri’s mother and father, and disfigured her for life. Her face was pock marked and her eyes almost blinded. She walked the rest of her life in a bent position, trying to see where she was going.

The chiefs moved the camp away from Ossernenon because of what had happened. They settled in a village called Caughnwaga (by the rapids), which is today called Fonda, New York, about a mile from Auriesville. We went there to make the program on the little Lily of the Mohawks, as she was called.

Now, because we had not planned on making this program, we had not contacted the shrine for permission. They had no idea we were coming. We went to the gift shop to ask for the priest in charge, and told them why we were there. Naturally they were in a dither, because they did not feel the place was ready for TV cameras. However, the Lord felt it was just the way He wanted it. The priest was another story completely. He was a very young Franciscan, Fr. Jim Plavcan. He didn’t believe for a minute anything we told him. We talked about Mother Angelica. We even talked about Fr. Groeschel, who was a Capuchin Franciscan from New York and was also on EWTN. He said he would check on all these things. He agreed to be interviewed on camera with us, which made for what turned out to be a good half a program.kateri3

At the end, our priest, Fr. Jim told us that Kateri fled this camp when her uncle, who was the chief and took control of her life when her parents died, refused to allow her to learn the Catholic Faith. She was baptized here clandestinely, but then left in a boat with a group of other believers who went to what was called the Village of Prayer in Kahnawake, an area of Montreal, Canada. Our program wouldn’t be finished until we went to Canada. Oh, a

P.S. on the priest, Fr. Jim Plavcan. He sent us a letter a few weeks after we had been there, apologizing for doubting us and who we were. He had checked us out thoroughly and his face was red. He ended his letter with a beautiful thought. “Keep up your prayer life. You can’t give what you don’thave.”

A sad PPS – He was traveling to New Mexico to a convention for the Canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha. He was traveling by bicycle. He was run off the road by an 18 wheeler and died. He was very young. We dedicated our program to his memory.

Back to Canadakateri4

We had to wait a few years before we could go back to Canada. However, our wait was well rewarded. We met a French or French Canadian monsignor who was really pushing for the Canonization of Kateri. By this time she had been declared Beatified by St. Pope John Paul II. His name was Msgr. Broussard. He was very helpful. We were able to interview him for the camera, which was very helpful for the program. He shared something with us which we later wrote in our biography of Kateri. He said:

“As Kateri was leaving New York for the voyage to Kahnawake, an interior turmoil was going on. She was leaving her homeland of twenty years. She loved the Mohawk Valley, so breathtakingly beautiful. She would miss the river and the streams. She would even miss her family, although they had been so cruel to her. She thought about all that, and then she thought about what she would be receiving in return. She just turned her whole life over to Jesus.”

When she arrived at Kahnawake, she brought letters from the priest who had baptized her in New York. He had also given her instruction for First Holy Communion. She was not able to receive in New York. The priest, Fr. Cholenec, read the letter addressed to him.

It read,

“Catherine Tekakwitha will live at the Sault. I ask you to take charge in directing her. It is a treasure that we are giving you, which you will soon realize. Guard it well and make it bear fruit for the glory of God and the salvation of a soul which is certainly very dear to Him.”

Kateri arrived at the mission in October 1677. Some months later, in the winter of 1677, Fr. Cholenec wrote his own observations.

“There is one who walks with a limp; she is the most fervent of the whole village. I believe, and though she is cripple and always sick, she does some amazing things.”

Kateri lived a peaceful, joy-filled life at the mission. She received her First Holy Communion, which was the highlight of her life. She experienced some difficulties at the village, but the Lord protected her from any problems.

Kateri moved through the levels of mystical life. She had gone through the first, personal special relationship, then the level of purging herself, shedding herself of anything that was not of God, or would not lead her to God; and finally the level of union, unity with God, a mystical marriage with Jesus.

From that level, there was only one place to go, Paradise.

She was an innocent girl. Everyone was aware of that. She was also a very sickly girl. From the time of her Smallpox attack, she never quite recovered.

From the middle of the summer of 1679 to Holy Week of 1680, she began to suffer terribly. She kept a smile on her face, and continued her devotions.

However, around Easter of that year, it was obvious to all that she was preparing to go to the Father. On Wednesday, April 17 1680, she gave her soul to God.

Miracles began to happen immediately. Although they were chronicled, they were not submitted to the Holy Office. It took until June 22, 1980 that Pope St. John Paul II beatified her. On October 21, 2012 she was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI. She was the first Native American Saint, truly fruit of the

blood of the Martyrs. Praise God.

We love you!

Bob and Penny Lord’s Ministry

 

For more information plus our media items on Saint Kateri Click here 

kateri2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha – Lily of the Mohawks

July 8, 2009

It was in Ossernenon that  Kateri’s mother ( an  Indian Maiden of the Algonquin tribe) met her husband, a chief of one of the villages. They married, and settled down there. Now, we have to remember that Kateri’s mother was as much a captive as she was the wife of the chief. Nothing is known about her relationship with her husband or the people of the village. She was a foreigner, who spoke a different language, and had different customs. We’re sure that she was not able to practice her Christian religion, because the Blackrobes (Jesuit Missionaries) had not yet returned to this area. How she must have grieved, especially over the loss of her Lord Jesus in the Eucharist.
She and her husband had two children, Kateri, born in 1656, and her younger brother. They lived a comparatively peaceful life in Ossernenon. Her mother tried to impart in the children at least the virtues of Christianity, if not the actual beliefs of the Faith, to the best of her understanding. She also tried to incorporate the teachings of the Church with the positive values of her Indian background, even though her Algonquin beliefs varied somewhat from the Iroquois or Mohawk.
Kateri was a beautiful child, possessing the best features of both mother and father. She was very loved by her parents, and respected as the daughter of a chief of the village. But all that was to come to an end swiftly when she was about four years old. A deadly epidemic of Smallpox erupted, and swept through the village like wildfire. It had no respect for age, sex or position. Kateri’s mother died first, then her brother and her father. Kateri’s mother had always prayed for the baptism of her children, and possibly they were baptized with the Baptism of Desire. But in her lifetime, Kateri’s mother did not see her children officially baptized. Kateri’s brother was never baptized. It would be 16 years after her mother’s death that her prayer for Kateri would be finally answered.
After the death of her family, the most difficult period of Kateri’s life began. She was taken in by her uncle, her father’s brother, who was made head chief of the village. However, as much as he loved Kateri, the uncle’s personality was different from Kateri’s father, from what she could remember of her father. Her actual upbringing was put in the hands of various aunts who loved her as a relative, but they were definitely not her mother.
The Smallpox epidemic had devastated the village and Kateri personally. In addition to losing her family, she was permanently scarred from the disease. Her face, beautiful before the Smallpox hit her, became extremely pockmarked. Her eyesight was severely affected to the point of being almost blind for the rest of her life. She walked with her head down, mostly to protect her eyes from the sunlight, but also because she couldn’t see clearly in front of her. It worked out to her favor after her baptism as she then walked in this manner, as an expression of humility. It was because of this condition that she was called Tekakwitha. Her uncle looked at her as she struggled to walk around, in the early days after her eyesight was affected. He called her Tekakwitha, which means literally “She pushed with her hands.” But Tekakwitha has a very special meaning among the Mohawks. It means the ideal woman, one who works hard and keeps everything in good order: a prudent, industrious, provident, loving wife and mother. The chief didn’t know it, but he was prophesying about the qualities Kateri would possess when the Lord put her to work for the Kingdom.
Ossernenon was considered an evil omen to the villagers. It had been the scene of almost total destruction to the people there. Everywhere they looked, they could see in their minds’ eyes the bodies of loved ones who had died from the epidemic. In addition, Smallpox was still ravaging the tribe. The chiefs determined it was best to leave Ossernenon, because evil spirits were there.
Her uncle, as main chief of the village, supervised the building of the new village, with the palisades for protection and the longhouses6 for living. They chose a spot on a hill facing the river, about a mile to the west of Ossernenon. It was called Caughnawaga, which meant “by the rapids.” In addition to being very beautiful, it was a very strategic location. From this vantage point, they could see their enemies approaching. This is where Kateri spent her childhood…. Reference: “Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists.”

Blessed Kateri’s Feastday is July 14


Bl Kateri Tekakwitha

July 12, 2008

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha below is taken from Bob and Penny Lord’s book, “Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists.”
Kateri is born – the Seed Bears Fruit

The Lord moves in great sweeping motions when He wants to accomplish something. The fruit of the Martyrs had to be a strong focus of the Lord from before the death of the Martyrs. In Trois-Rivieres, today a part of French Canada, in the province of Quebec, a young Indian Maiden of the Algonquin tribe was raised under the mantle of the French Jesuits. She was baptized in Trois-Rivieres and lived with French settlers for a time. When the Jesuits pulled their missions back to Quebec in 1649, as a result of violent raids by the Iroquois and the outrageous executions of the Blackrobe missionaries, the Algonquins were left on their own and came under the domination of the Iroquois. Kateri’s mother was taken prisoner and brought down the Mohawk river with the rest of the Indian captives. She landed in Ossernenon, a beautiful Mohawk village in what is today, Auriesville, in upstate New York.
It was in Ossernenon that she met her husband, a chief of one of the villages. They married, and settled down there. Now, we have to remember that Kateri’s mother was as much a captive as she was the wife of the chief. Nothing is known about her relationship with her husband or the people of the village. She was a foreigner, who spoke a different language, and had different customs. We’re sure that she was not able to practice her Christian religion, because the Blackrobes had not yet returned to this area. How she must have grieved, especially over the loss of her Lord Jesus in the Eucharist.
She and her husband had two children, Kateri, born in 1656, and her younger brother. They lived a comparatively peaceful life in Ossernenon. Her mother tried to impart in the children at least the virtues of Christianity, if not the actual beliefs of the Faith, to the best of her understanding. She also tried to incorporate the teachings of the Church with the positive values of her Indian background, even though her Algonquin beliefs varied somewhat from the Iroquois or Mohawk.
Kateri was a beautiful child, possessing the best features of both mother and father. She was very loved by her parents, and respected as the daughter of a chief of the village. But all that was to come to an end swiftly when she was about four years old. A deadly epidemic of Smallpox erupted, and swept through the village like wildfire. It had no respect for age, sex or position. Kateri’s mother died first, then her brother and her father. Kateri’s mother had always prayed for the baptism of her children, and possibly they were baptized with the Baptism of Desire. But in her lifetime, Kateri’s mother did not see her children officially baptized. Kateri’s brother was never baptized. It would be 16 years after her mother’s death that her prayer for Kateri would be finally answered.
After the death of her family, the most difficult period of Kateri’s life began. She was taken in by her uncle, her father’s brother, who was made head chief of the village. However, as much as he loved Kateri, the uncle’s personality was different from Kateri’s father, from what she could remember of her father. Her actual upbringing was put in the hands of various aunts who loved her as a relative, but they were definitely not her mother.
The Smallpox epidemic had devastated the village and Kateri personally. In addition to losing her family, she was permanently scarred from the disease. Her face, beautiful before the Smallpox hit her, became extremely pockmarked. Her eyesight was severely affected to the point of being almost blind for the rest of her life. She walked with her head down, mostly to protect her eyes from the sunlight, but also because she couldn’t see clearly in front of her. It worked out to her favor after her baptism as she then walked in this manner, as an expression of humility. It was because of this condition that she was called Tekakwitha. Her uncle looked at her as she struggled to walk around, in the early days after her eyesight was affected. He called her Tekakwitha, which means literally “She pushed with her hands.” But Tekakwitha has a very special meaning among the Mohawks. It means the ideal woman, one who works hard and keeps everything in good order: a prudent, industrious, provident, loving wife and mother. The chief didn’t know it, but he was prophesying about the qualities Kateri would possess when the Lord put her to work for the Kingdom.
Ossernenon was considered an evil omen to the villagers. It had been the scene of almost total destruction to the people there. Everywhere they looked, they could see in their minds’ eyes the bodies of loved ones who had died from the epidemic. In addition, Smallpox was still ravaging the tribe. The chiefs determined it was best to leave Ossernenon, because evil spirits were there.
Her uncle, as main chief of the village, supervised the building of the new village, with the palisades for protection and the longhouses6 for living. They chose a spot on a hill facing the river, about a mile to the west of Ossernenon. It was called Caughnawaga, which meant “by the rapids.” In addition to being very beautiful, it was a very strategic location. From this vantage point, they could see their enemies approaching. This is where Kateri spent her childhood….

For more information on Blessed Kateri click here

%d bloggers like this: