Last Sunday the Church canonized a saint named for her poor eyesight. At age four this saint lost her Christian Algonquin mother and Mohawk father to smallpox, which also weakened her sight. Her uncle, a Mohawk chef, took her into his longhouse and called her Tekakwitha, One Who Walks Groping Her Way.
Perhaps her mother infected Tekakwitha with a desire to become a Christian but not until Jesuits who followed the fur traders into upstate New York established a permanent mission in her village did she have a chance. Father Lamberville found her a natural Christian, instructed her, baptized her at Christmas in 1679, and gave her the name Kateri (Katherine).
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