Pope Benedixt XVI announced on Saturday that he will create seven new saints including the first Native American, a 17th-century Mohawk girl named Kateri Tekakwitha, on October 21.
Kateri will be the first native American saint from the United States, according to the Vatican, which has attributed a miracle to her, a requirement for sainthood.
Known as Catherine Tekakwitha, she is revered by Catholics for her deep devotion and courage in the face of suffering.
She was born in 1656 in Ossernenon, today’s Auriesville in upstate New York, on the banks of the Mohawk River, survived smallpox and war between Indian tribes and settlers, and died in Canada at the age of 24.
In June 1980 Kateri became the first indigenous person from North America to be beatified, by Pope John Paul II. She is a Catholic patron of ecology together with Saint Francis of Assisi.