St. Kateri Tekakwitha
Daughter of a Christian Algonquin woman captured by Iroquois and married to a non-Christian Mohawk chief. Orphaned during a smallpox epidemic, which left her with a scarred face and impaired eyesight. Converted and baptized in 1676 by Father Jacques de Lamberville, a Jesuit missionary. Shunned and abused by relatives for her faith. Escaped through 200 miles of wilderness to the Christian Native American village of Sault-Sainte-Marie. Took a vow of chastity in 1679. Known for spirituality and austere lifestyle. Miracle worker. Her grave became a pilgrimage site and place of miracles for Christian Native Americans and French colonists. First Native American proposed for canonization, her cause was started in 1884 under Pope Leo XIII. The Tekakwitha Conference, an international association of Native American Catholics and those in ministry with them, was named for her.