St. Anthony Messenger

Dear Reader: ‘Lily of the Mohawks’

Statue of St. Kateri Tekakwitha

With all due respect to winter birds or native Floridians: I don’t understand the allure of living in a warm climate year-round. I prefer four differentiating seasons—each one offering something to savor. But as spring has finally begun to flex its muscles, I’m grateful that winter is finally in our rearview mirrors. The flowers, the hyperactivity of birds and insects, the longer days, and sunlit landscapes of spring prove one thing: God is the artist. 

While Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of ecology, other saints had lives that were wedded to the natural world, St. Kateri Tekakwitha being one of them. As an Algonquin–Mohawk born in New York State, Kateri, known as the “Lily of the Mohawks,” would have lived in accordance with the rhythms of the seasons. She faced unimaginable hardships in her life but was always anchored by her love for God. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonized her and said this at her Mass: “Kateri impresses us by the action of grace in her life in spite of the  absence of external help and by the courage of her vocation. In her, faith and culture enrich each other!” 

Agreed. In this issue of St. Anthony Messenger, we offer a look at the Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center and the work they do on behalf of their namesake. We think she’d be proud. We’re certainly in awe. 

St. Kateri: Pray for us! 



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