Pope Benedict XVI to name first Native American saint
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI names seven new saints on Sunday including the first Native American, marking the start of a "Year of Faith" aimed at countering the rising tide of secularism in the West.
Ms Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) - informally known as "Lily of the Mohawks" - lived in an area that is now on the border between the United States and Canada and is worshipped by believers in native religions as well as Catholics.
She will be canonised in St. Peter's Basilica at a lavish ceremony that follows her beatification in 1980 by the late pope John Paul II.
Under a bright autumn sun, thousands of people, including American Indians, gathered outside the Basilica, which was decked with portraits of those to be canonised at the ceremony.