Chief Poking Fire Has Pow-wow To Proclaim Coming Festivities
Resplendent in a headdress of waving eagle plumes and wearing the brilliantly beaded wampum of his ancestors, Chief Poking Fire of Caughnawaga held pow-wow in his Long House yesterday to announce there would be feasting and dancing in his village throughout Aug. 21 and 22 to honor Kateri Tekakwitha Mohawk maiden who died there 2 1/2 centuries ago.
Since 1884, the Iroquois tribes have prayed that Tekakwitha, or Lily of the Mohawks as she also is known, be proclaimed saint. If the prayers of his people are answered – and Poking Fire maintains they will be before many moons are past – Tekakwitha will be North America’s first native saint. Continue reading
Caughnawaga’s historic St-Francois-Xavier Church
where the soon-to be Saint Kateri is entombed.
The Saintly Mohawk Maiden.
The sublime influence of Catholicity on the life of the Indian is nowhere better illustrated than in the saintly subject of this brief sketch. She is the Indian virgin par excellence. While the great chiefs and lordly sachems of her once powerful and warlike race are forgotten, the name of this simple and pure-souled girl is held in honor and veneration. More than one able pen has told the charming story of her heroic and innocent life. I shall chiefly follow Father Cholenek, S.J., (her confessor, under whom she made her first communion, who gave her the last sacraments, and was present at her holy death) in his long and interesting letter to his Superior concerning her. Continue reading
Petition To The Pope (ca. 1885) For Recognition of Catherine Tegakwita, Blackgown Isaac Jogues & Brother Rene Goupil
With the recent announcement that Kateri will be recognized as a saint, it’s interesting to take a look back on this earliest petition to the pope (1885).
A beautiful petition for the Indians has already been written, in the language of the Flatheads, by an old missionary of that tribe, and it has been signed by their chiefs. So also the chiefs of Catherine’s own village have signed their petition to the Holy Father. The writer has before him now the Flathead petition in three languages; he considers that this paper would be incomplete without an English version of this touching address. It is as follows:
“Our Father The Pope:
“Though we Indians are very poor and miserable, yet our Maker had great pity on us and gave us the Catholic religion. Moreover, he had pity on us again and gave us Catherine Tegakwita. This holy virgin, an Indian like ourselves, being favored by Jesus Christ with a great grace, grew up very good, had great love for our Maker, and died good and holy, and is now glorious in heaven, as we believe, and prays for us all. This virgin, we believe, was given to us from God as a great favor, for she is our little sister. But now we hope that thou, our Father, who art the Vicar of Jesus Christ, wilt grant us a favor likewise: we beg thee with the whole of our hearts to speak and say: ‘You Indians, my children, take Catherine as an object of your veneration in the church, because she is holy and is in heaven.’ Continue reading
THE LILY OF THE MOHAWK.
THE True Witness and Catholic Chronicle of Montreal, in its issue of August 6, gives this interesting account of the ceremonies attending the blessing of the monument erected over the remains of the Iroquois virgin, Catherine Tegakwita.
“The ceremonies at Laprairie last Wednesday were very imposing and solemn at the blessing of the granite monument erected at La Tortue over the grave of Catherine Tegakwita, the Iroquois Indian girl, who was baptized into the Catholic Church [at Auriesville] in 1676.
The streets of Laprairie were profusely decorated with triumphal arches, one very beautiful arch of white and colored letters having a very pretty effect. There was a distinguished gathering of prelates and priests present, among whom were His Grace Archbishop Fabre, Bishop Gravel, of Nicolet; Father Drummond, S. J., rector of St. Mary’s College; Father Burtin, of the Oblates; Father Benoit, canon regular Continue reading