Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (a.k.a. Catherine Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks and Tegakouita, Tegakwitha) was born in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon, on the south side of the Mohawk River in present-day New York State.
She contracted smallpox in an epidemic; her family died and her face was scarred. She converted to Roman Catholicism at age nineteen, when she was renamed Kateri, and baptised in honour of Saint Catherine of Siena.
Refusing to marry and shunned and abused by relatives for her faith, she escaped through two hundred miles of wilderness to the Christian Native American village of Sault-Sainte-Marie where she took a vow of perpetual virginity.
Upon her death at the age of twenty-four, witnesses said that minutes later her scars vanished and her face appeared radiant and beautiful.
Along with other concerns, she is the patron saint of ecologists, environmentalists, Native Americans and people ridiculed for their piety.