Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine and Historic Site, Fonda

#275 of 412 in Historic Sites in New York State
Must see · Religious Site · Tourist Spot
Saint Kateri is the patroness saint of Native Americans, First Nations peoples, ecology, and the care of creation.

The Kanienkehaka pronounce Kateri's name as Gah-deh-LEE (Kateri) Deh-gah-GWEE-tah (Tekakwitha).

Kateri was born in 1656 of an Algonquin mother and a Kanienkehaka ("Mohawk") chief in the village of Ossernenon, near present day Auriesville, NY. She was the only member of her family to survive a smallpox epidemic at age 4. It left her face scarred and her vision impaired. She was then adopted by her Kanienkehaka uncle and aunts. Her village was destroyed after the epidemic.

Later they crossed the Mohawk River and settled at Caughnawaga, at or near the present site of the only archaeologically excavated and preserved 17th-century Kanienkehaka village in existence. Here she lived with her family and was instructed by missionaries in the Catholic faith. Kateri was baptized in in a small chapel on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1676.

Kateri was treated poorly because of her conversion to Christianity and her deepening love of Jesus. Kateri grew deeper in her faith and wished to live a more Christian focused life. She left Caughnawaga and headed north to the Catholic settlement of Kahnawake, the present day Mohawk Nation in Quebec, Canada, on the St. Lawrence River. There Kateri lived the rest of her short life, and enjoyed peace and quiet in service to others and a deeper experience of Jesus and his Gospel to which she dedicated her life.

Kateri died at the age of 24. This is the saint we celebrate in this Shrine dedicated to her and her holy life. Her feast day is celebrated on July 14th (US).
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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine and Historic Site reviews

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  • The shrine area includes a chapel honoring St. Kateri, a museum with many native artifacts, a gazebo for placing personal prayer requests and a nature trail. It is a spacious outdoor area; very...  more »
  • If you love to visit shrines of great American Catholic saints, this is a wonderful place to visit. We have now visited this place twice and have loved it both times. There is so much history here.....  more »
  • We were privileged to visit on St. Kateri's feast day and were able to attend a beautiful Mass. The grounds are lovely. Much to see here and do, particularly if you are of the Catholic faith! St. Kateri, pray for us!
  • Attended a native american festival here and had an excellent time participating in some native american dances.

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