Frequently asked questions about Kateri

What color were her hair and eyes?

She had dark hair and dark eyes.

Was she pretty?

She was disfigured by smallpox at the age of four, so her beauty came from within.

What is smallpox?

Smallpox is a deadly virus, which causes disfigurment and sometimes death.

Were all native people catholic?

No, they were not. Many natives from Kahnawake are Catholic, but many natives are beginning to practice their traditional beliefs. Some natives practice catholism and their traditional beliefs.

What was her favorite food?

The berries that she picked in late spring and early summer.

Did she know how to cook?

Yes, she was an excellent cook.

What did she enjoy doing in her spare time?

She enjoyed doing beadwork and working with porcupine quills. She was also quite good at repairing canoes.

Did she ever have a boyfriend?

No, her uncle and aunt tried to impose them on her but she refused.

Did she enjoy dancing?

No because her poor eyesight made her clumsy.

Does she have any living relatives?

Nobody can say for sure if there are any living relatives of Kateri.

Did she have many friends?

No, she stayed in most of the time because the sunlight hurt her eyes.

How did she go on without her parents?

Her uncle who was a chief and her aunt took her in and cared for her.

Did she always wear her hair in braids?

Yes, it was easy to maintain and practical for her.

Did she enjoy being around children?

Yes, she loved children.

Did she like to read?

Yes, in the last few years of her life because she only learned at that time.

Did she stay up late most of the time?

No, her daily routine made her tired.

Did she wear makeup?

No, she didn't wear make up.

Was she tall and skinny or short and chubby?

She was actually kind of short and skinny.

How old was she when she died?

She was twenty four years old.

Where was she buried?

She was buried in the St. Francis Xavier Mission church of Kahnawake (parts of her skeleton are in churches all around the world) . One third of her skeleton was lost when the church in Akwesasne burned down..

Was she known only as Kateri Tekakwitha?

Other names for her are: Katherine,Kaia’tano:ron, and Lily of the Mohawks. Tekakwitha means “ she who puts things in order”.

What was her clan?

She was Turtle clan.

What is the difference between being Mohawk and Algonquin?

Mohawks are one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Algonquins were another First Nation frequently at war with the Mohawks.

What are Blackrobes?

Black Robes are missionaries,( usually Jesuit Priests ) sent to convert Native people to Christianity.

What is a Jesuit?

A Jesuit is a Catholic Priest.

What is a miracle?

A miracle is a divine intervention (praying to God or to a Saint for help) usually to heal an injury or cure an illness.

What kind of miracles did she perform?

Shortly after her death in 1680, a friend of hers was about to give birth, but it was a difficult labor so she prayed to Kateri for her help. Within minutes she fell asleep and awoke to the sound of her babies crying painfree.

Why isn’t she a Saint?

The people of Kahnawake are waiting for Pope John Paul II to declare her a Saint.