Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is born - the Seed Bears Fruit
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was an instrument of the Lord. 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.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha - early years
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.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha - answers the call
Kateri answers the Call to Jesus
Kateri felt the call of Jesus more and more compellingly. But she couldn’t say anything to the priests, or to anyone for that matter, because of her uncle’s animosity towards the Blackrobes and Christians. To make matters more serious, many of the members of the tribe were turning their lives over to Jesus. They were completely enraptured by the new way, “the Prayer”10 the peace and love of Christianity.
The chief became more and more concerned. In the Spring of the year, fifteen of the best braves of the village converted to Christianity and left the village to go to the Huron mission in Quebec, Notre Dame de Foy. There they could practice their Faith freely, without persecution from their fellow tribesmen.
Her uncle, and the other chiefs of the tribe now had real concerns. They were afraid they were losing their best men, and the tribe would dwindle down to nothing. There were only 450 braves to defend the whole nation. How much would it take to be conquered by one of the stronger tribes?
Another fifty braves and their families planned to follow the other braves who had departed for Quebec. They had their canoes packed with supplies, and they were ready to go. However, the fear that they may be leaving their tribe vulnerable, unprotected in the event of an attack, made these families wait for a more expedient time. This growing momentum now made Kateri’s uncle opposed to any of his people further joining the Christian movement! Naturally, he wouldn’t hear anything of it in his own home.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha longed to take part in the beautiful ceremonies of the Christian Community. At Christmastide the Blackrobes made a Nativity Scene, the first they had ever made in the Missions. The Indians loved the tradition and the hymns which were sung, French hymns which the Indians intoned in their own language. It was beautiful. But Kateri could not be part of it. She didn’t have the confidence to go to Fr. Boniface, or Fr. Bruyas, who were there during her teenage years.
She had no relationship with them and feared to speak to them, because of her uncle. But in midsummer of 1675, Kateri’s nineteenth year, a new Blackrobe came upon the scene, Fr. Jacques de Lamberville. When Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha saw him, she knew that she could talk to this priest. He had a great deal of sensitivity and was very gentle with the Indians.