Native American among new saints

Mon, Oct 22, 2012, 01:00

Pope Benedict created seven new saints yesterday, including the first Native American to be canonised.

Thousands of pilgrims from around the world converged on St Peter’s Square to witness the ceremony recognising the saints, who included Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th-century convert known as “Lily of the Mohawks”.

The crowd included hundreds of pilgrims from the United States’ 2.5 million-strong Native American population, of whom 680,000 are estimated to be Catholic, a legacy of the success of early missionaries in converting indigenous people in America.

Saint Kateri was born in 1656 in what is now New York to a Mohawk father and an Algonquin mother.

– (Reuters)