"The Lily of the Mohawks," Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) was born to a Christian Algonquin mother and a non-Christian Mohawk father. When she was four, her parents and brothers died of smallpox and she was left partially blind, physically weak, with a badly-scarred face.
In 1676, after being converted by Jesuit missionaries, Kateri was baptized. Ostracized by her tribe, she escaped from her home in New York 200 miles north to a Christian community near Montreal. She practiced penitence and prayer in an austere lifestyle, and in 1679 took a vow of chastity.
Because of her bout with smallpox, Kateri was never in full health. She died on April 17, 1680 at the age of twenty-four. Her last words were, "Jesus, I love you." Several witnesses to her death testified that as soon as she died, her scarred face was miraculously healed.
Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church.