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Canadians flock to Rome for canonization of Mohawk

Published on Oct 16, 2012 10:32 AM

MONTREAL (AFP) - A Mohawk woman will on Sunday become the first Native American to be canonized a Catholic saint, in a ceremony in the Vatican 300 years after her death, and 1,500 fellow Canadians will be there.

Kateri Tekakwitha, known as "Lily of the Mohawks," was born in 1656 in what is now Auriesville in the US state of New York, but died while serving the church in Kahnawake in what is now Canada's Quebec province.

For centuries she has been a symbol of hope for Native Americans, despite the grim details of her short and painful life.

Converted by Jesuits, the young woman who was left scarred and partially blind from smallpox devoted her life to God to an extent that stunned even European missionaries.

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