Lecture held on life of soon-to-be saint from the Mohawk Valley

By WKTV News

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - On October 21, two women from the Mohawk Valley will be canonized and officially become saints in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

In Cooperstown on Friday, a lecture was held detailing the life and work of one of those women, Kateri Tekahkwi:tha. Darren Bonaparte presented his talk titled "A Lily among Thorns: The Repatriation of Kateri Tekahkwi:tha" at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown.

"A lot of people have visions of her after her death so there was something very supernatural about this woman and the Catholic Church has used her to promote their missionary work among the world especially among the native people," Bonaparte said.

Tekahkwi:tha will be the first Native American saint upon her canonization.

Having survived smallpox, but orphaned when her family died from it, she was shunned by her tribe for her conversion to Christianity and committed herself to helping children, the sick and the poor, and died at the age of 24. Her cause was brought before Pope John Paul II in 1980 for beatification, and only in recent years, were her miracles noted, the last step on her path to sainthood.

"There was a little boy in Washington who caught a flesh-eating bacteria and there was nothing doctors could do to help him, but Sister Kateri Mitchell was called over to help this little child and she prayed over him with a relic of Kateri Tekahkw:tha and it stopped the spread of his disease," Bonaparte said.

Tekahkw:tha and Mother Marianne Cope will be canonized in Rome, Italy on October 21.

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