Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Substantiate, Psalms 69, Deuteronomy 30:10-14, Luke 10:25-37, Pope Francis Daily Homily - World Youth Day Brazil Decree of Indulgences, Saint Kateri Tekawitha, Iroquois, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ Section 2 The Human Communion Article 3:2 Social Justice - Equality and Differences Among Men

Sunday,  July 14, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Substantiate, Psalms 69, Deuteronomy 30:10-14Luke 10:25-37, Pope Francis Daily Homily - World Youth Day Brazil Decree of Indulgences, Saint Kateri Tekawitha, Iroquois, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life  In Christ Section 2 The Human Communion Article 3:2  Social Justice - Equality and Differences Among Men

Note: Milestone of 365 blogs as of July 4! Took a brief hiatus from Jul5-Jul13 before starting on our 2nd year. Thank you to God and all our readers!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge, reason and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord), counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our Soul...it's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Glorious Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis July 14 General Audience Address :

World Youth Day July 23-28 Brazil  

Decree of Indulgences

(2013-07-14 Vatican Radio)
On Tuesday, the Apostolic Penitentiary – a tribunal of the Roman Curia primarily responsible for issues relating to the forgiveness of sins – issued a decree announcing Indulgences granted for participants at the upcoming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

“The word indulgence is not very familiar to many people today, especially to the younger generation,” says Monsignor John Kennedy, an official at the Congregation of the Faith. “In fact, you might be surprised to know that the Christian meaning of the word indulgence really comes from Latin ‘indulgentia’ and it means kindness or tenderness, and refers, in this context to God’s kindness in forgiving the effects of sins.”

Msgr. Kennedy says indulgences “are linked to a theme that Pope Francis has spoken very frequently about since the moment of his election – that is to say, to the gift of God’s mercy.”

The decree grants a plenary indulgence for taking part in the “sacred rites and pious exercises” that will take place during World Youth Day, an indulgence that can be gained by those who cannot make it to Rio de Janeiro if they follow the events by radio, television or the new means of social communications. In order to gain the plenary indulgence, one must also make a sacramental Confession, receive the Holy Eucharist in Communion, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

A partial indulgence can be gained throughout the period of World Youth Day every time one offers a “fervent prayer” to God and for pious devotions invoking Our Lady or the patron saints of the event.

The decree also encourages priests to make themselves available for Confession “In order that the faithful might more easily obtain these heavenly gifts.”

Below please find Vatican Radio’s translation of the complete text of the Decree of Indulgences, followed by the official prayer of World Youth Day: 


The gift of Indulgences is granted on the occasion of the XXIII World Youth Day, which will be celebrated in Rio de Janeiro during the current Year of Faith. 

The Holy Father Pope Francis, desiring that young people, in union with the spiritual goals of the Year of Faith, announced by Pope Benedict XVI, can achieve the desired fruits of sanctification of the “XXVIII World Youth Day,” which will be held from 22 to 29 of the next month of July in Rio de Janeiro, and that has for its theme: “Go and make disciples of all nations (cf. Mt 28:19)”, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Major Penitentiary on June 3, demonstrating the maternal heart of the Church, from the Treasury of the satisfactions of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the Saints, has granted that young people and all the faithful who are properly prepared might enjoy the gift of Indulgences as follows:
plenary Indulgence
      , which can be obtained once a day under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer according to the intention of the Supreme Pontiff), and applicable also by way of suffrage to the souls of the faithful departed, is granted to the truly penitent and contrite faithful who devoutly participate in the sacred rites and pious exercises that will be held in Rio de Janeiro.

The faithful who are legitimately impeded can obtain the plenary Indulgence if, complying with the usual spiritual, sacramental and prayer conditions, with the purpose of filial submission to the Roman Pontiff, they participate spiritually in the sacred functions on the appointed days, provided they follow these same rites and pious exercises as they take place via television or radio, or, always with appropriate devotion, by the new means of social communication.

partial Indulgence
      is granted to the faithful, wherever they may be during the above mentioned gathering, every time they, with at least a contrite heart, lift up fervent prayers to God, concluding with the official prayer of World Youth Day [see below], and pious invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Brazil, under the title of “Nossa Senhora da Conceiçao Aparecida,” [approx.: “Our Lady of Conception Who Appeared”], and to the other Patrons and Intercessors of the same gathering, in order to inspire the young people to reinforce them in the Faith, and to lead a holy life.

In order that the faithful might more easily obtain these heavenly gifts, priests who are legitimately approved to hear sacramental confessions should make themselves available to receive them and propose to the faithful public prayers for the success of the same “World Youth Day”.

This decree is valid for this event. Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given in Rome at the Seat of the Apostolic Penitentiary 24 June 2013, on the Solemnity of Saint John the Baptist.

Here is the Official Prayer for World Youth Day, mentioned in the decree of Indulgence:

Oh Father, You sent Your Eternal Son to save the world, and You chose men and women, so that through Him, with Him and in Him, they might proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to all nations. Grant us the necessary graces, so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the joy of being the evangelists that the Church needs in the Third Millennium may shine in the faces of all young people.

Oh Christ, Redeemer of humanity, the image of Your open arms on the top of Corcovado, welcomes all people. In Your paschal offering, You led us, by the Holy Spirit, to encounter the Father as His children. Young people, who are nourished by Eucharist, who hear You in Your Word and meet You as their brother, need your infinite mercy to walk along the paths of this world as disciples and missionaries of the New Evangelization.

Oh Holy Spirit, Love of the Father and of the Son, with the splendor of Your Truth and the fire of Your Love, shed Your Light upon all young people so that, inspired by their experience at World Youth Day, they may bring faith, hope and charity to the four corners of the earth, becoming great builders of a culture of life and peace and catalysts of a new world.
Amen !


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: Summer

Vatican City, Summer2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father for the Summer of 2013:

The Prefecture of the Papal Household has released Pope Francis' agenda for the summer period, from July through to the end of August. Briefing journalists, Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pope will remain 'based ' at the Casa Santa Marta residence in Vatican City State for the duration of the summer.

As per tradition, all private and special audiences are suspended for the duration of the summer. The Holy Father's private Masses with employees will end July 7 and resume in September. The Wednesday general audiences are suspended for the month of July to resume August 7 at the Vatican.

14 July Sunday , Pope Francis will lead the Angelus prayer from the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis will travel to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro from Monday July 22 to Monday July 29.  


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 07/14/2013.


July 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, with a motherly love I am imploring you to give me the gift of your hearts, so I can present them to my Son and free you – free you from all the evil enslaving and distancing you all the more from the only Good – my Son – from everything which is leading you on the wrong way and is taking peace away from you. I desire to lead you to the freedom of the promise of my Son, because I desire for God's will to be fulfilled completely here; and that through reconciliation with the Heavenly Father, through fasting and prayer, apostles of God's love may be born – apostles who will freely, and with love, spread the love of God to all my children – apostles who will spread the love of the trust in the Heavenly Father and who will keep opening the gates of Heaven. Dear children, extend the joy of love and support to your shepherds, just as my Son has asked them to extend it to you. Thank you."
July 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, with a motherly love I am imploring you to give me the gift of your hearts, so I can present them to my Son and free you – free you from all the evil enslaving and distancing you all the more from the only Good – my Son – from everything which is leading you on the wrong way and is taking peace away from you. I desire to lead you to the freedom of the promise of my Son, because I desire for God's will to be fulfilled completely here; and that through reconciliation with the Heavenly Father, through fasting and prayer, apostles of God's love may be born – apostles who will freely, and with love, spread the love of God to all my children – apostles who will spread the love of the trust in the Heavenly Father and who will keep opening the gates of Heaven. Dear children, extend the joy of love and support to your shepherds, just as my Son has asked them to extend it to you. Thank you." - See more at: http://litanylane.blogspot.com/2013/07/thursday-july-4-2013-litany-lane-blog.html#sthash.drSPnx4i.1qKnYiXi.dpuf

June 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World on the 32nd Anniversary of the apparitions: “Dear children! With joy in the heart I love you all and call you to draw closer to my Immaculate Heart so I can draw you still closer to my Son Jesus, and that He can give you His peace and love, which are nourishment for each one of you. Open yourselves, little children, to prayer – open yourselves to my love. I am your mother and cannot leave you alone in wandering and sin. You are called, little children, to be my children, my beloved children, so I can present you all to my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

June 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, in this restless time, anew I am calling you to set out after my Son - to follow Him. I know of the pain, suffering and difficulties, but in my Son you will find rest; in Him you will find peace and salvation. My children, do not forget that my Son redeemed you by His Cross and enabled you, anew, to be children of God; to be able to, anew, call the Heavenly Father, "Father". To be worthy of the Father, love and forgive, because your Father is love and forgiveness. Pray and fast, because that is the way to your purification, it is the way of coming to know and becoming cognizant of the Heavenly Father. When you become cognizant of the Father, you will comprehend that He is all you need. I, as a mother, desire my children to be in a community of one single people where the Word of God is listened to and carried out.* Therefore, my children, set out after my Son. Be one with Him. Be God's children. Love your shepherds as my Son loved them when He called them to serve you. Thank you." *Our Lady said this resolutely and with emphasis.

May 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:“Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God’s love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


Today's Word:  substantiate sub·stan·ti·ate [suhb-stan-shee-eyt]  

Origin:  1650–60;  < Neo-Latin substantiātus  (past participle of substantiāre ), equivalent to Latin substanti ( a ) substance + -ātus -ate1 
verb (used with object), sub·stan·ti·at·ed, sub·stan·ti·at·ing.
1. to establish by proof or competent evidence: to substantiate a charge.
2. to give substantial existence to: to substantiate an idea through action.
3. to affirm as having substance; give body to; strengthen: to substantiate a friendship.


Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 69:14, 17, 30-36

14 Rescue me from the mire before I sink in; so I shall be saved from those who hate me, from the watery depths.
17 do not turn away from your servant, be quick to answer me, for I am in trouble.
30 I will praise God's name in song, I will extol him by thanksgiving,
31 for this will please Yahweh more than an ox, than a bullock horned and hoofed.
33 For God listens to the poor, he has never scorned his captive people.
34 Let heaven and earth and seas, and all that stirs in them, acclaim him!
36 the descendants of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.


Today's Epistle -  Deuteronomy 30:10-14

10 if you obey the voice of Yahweh your God, by keeping his commandments and decrees written in the book of this Law, and if you return to Yahweh your God with all your heart and soul.
11 'For this Law which I am laying down for you today is neither obscure for you nor beyond your reach.
12 It is not in heaven, so that you need to wonder, "Who will go up to heaven for us and bring it down to us, so that we can hear and practise it?"
13 Nor is it beyond the seas, so that you need to wonder, "Who will cross the seas for us and bring it back to us, so that we can hear and practise it?"
14 No, the word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to put into practice.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Luke 10:25-37

The parable of the Good Samaritan
Who is my neighbour?
Luke 10:25-37


a) Opening prayer:
Prayers of Blessed Giorgio Preca in Il Sacrario dello spirito di Cristo
Lord God, you are present and I am in you:
          Give me wisdom to know your spirit.
Lord God, you are present and I am in you:
          Grant me the gift of the spirit of the Master, my Christ Jesus.
Lord God, you are present and I am in you:
          Guide my every way with your light.
Lord God, you are present and I am in you:
          Teach me to do your will at all times.
Lord God, you are present and I am in you:
          Do not let me stray from your Spirit, the Spirit of love.
Lord God, you are present and I am in you:
          Do not abandon me when my strength fails.

b) Gospel reading:
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (Picture) 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" 27 And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself." 28 And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbour?" 30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers?" 37 He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

c) Prayerful silent time: that the Word of God may enter into our hearts and enlighten our life.

a) A key to the reading:
This is chapter 10 of Luke’s Gospel. It is the central part of Luke’s Gospel and it follows Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem: «Now as the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, he resolutely took the road for Jerusalem» (Lk 9: 51). We know that for Luke, Jerusalem is the city where salvation will take place, and Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem forms a central theme. Luke’s story begins in the holy city (Lk 1: 5) and ends in the same city (Lk 24: 52). In this middle section, Luke will repeatedly insist on the fact that Jesus is going towards Jerusalem (for instance in Lk 13: 22; 17: 11). In this text, which tells the parable of the good Samaritan in the context of a discussion with a doctor of the law concerning the greatest commandment, we again find the theme of a journey, this time from Jerusalem to Jericho (Lk 10: 30). The parable is part of this middle section of the Gospel that begins with Jesus, a pilgrim together with his disciples on their way to Jerusalem. He sends them ahead to prepare for him to stop at a Samaritan village and there they only find hostility precisely because they were on their way to Jerusalem (Lk 9: 51-53). The Samaritans avoided pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem and were hostile to them. “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit” (Lk 10:

 1). Seventy-two is the traditional number of pagan nations.

The Fathers of the Church (Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and others), keeping in mind all the symbolism associated with Jerusalem, the holy city of salvation, interpret this parable in a particular way. In the man who goes from Jerusalem to Jericho they see Adam who represents the whole human race expelled from Eden, the celestial paradise, because of sin. The Fathers of the Church see the thieves as the tempter who takes us away from God’s friendship with his wiles and who holds us slaves in our humanity wounded by sin. In the priest and the Levite they see the insufficiency of the old law for our salvation that will be accomplished by our Good Samaritan, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, who, leaving the celestial Jerusalem, comes to the aid of our sinful condition and heals us with the oil of grace and the wine of the Spirit. In the inn, the Fathers see and image of the Church and in the inn-keeper they see the pastors into whose hands Jesus entrusts the care of his people, The departure of the Samaritan from the inn is seen by the Fathers as the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to sit at the right hand of the Father, but who promises to come back to reward each person according to his or her merit. Jesus then leaves the two denarii to the Church for our salvation, the two denarii that are the Sacred Scriptures and the Sacraments that help us on our way to holiness.

This allegorical and mystical interpretation of the text helps us to accept well the message of this parable. The text of the parable begins with a dialogue between a doctor of the law who stands to put the Lord to the test by asking: «Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?» (Lk 10: 25). Jesus replies with another question: «What is written in the law? What do you read there?» (Lk 10: 26). We must see this dialogue as a confrontation between two masters, a thing quite common in those days as a system of clarifying and deepening points of law. The polemical tone prevailing here is different from that in Mark where the question is asked by a Scribe who «had listened to them debating (Jesus and the Sadducees), and had observed how well Jesus had answered them» (Mk 12: 28) then puts the question to Jesus. This Scribe is well disposed to listen to Jesus, so much so that Jesus ends the dialogue with: «You are not far from the kingdom of God» (Mk 12: 34). Matthew, however, places this question in the context of a debate between Jesus and the Sadducees with the Pharisees present who when they “heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question…” (Mt 22:34-35). Jesus gives an immediate reply quoting the commandment of love as found in Deuteronomy and Leviticus.
Only in Luke’s text is the question not about which is the greatest commandment but about how to inherit eternal life, a question dealt with again in the Synoptic Gospels on the lips of the rich young man (Mt 19: 16; Mk 10: 17; Lk 18: 18). As in Mark, so also here, Jesus praises the doctor of the law: «You have answered right… do this and life is yours» (Lk 1:, 28). But the doctor of the law was not yet satisfied with Jesus’ answer and wanting «to justify himself» (Lk 10: 28) for having asked the question asks again “and who is my neighbour”! This second question introduces and connects the following parable with the dialogue between Jesus and the doctor of the law. We also notice an inclusion between verse 26 that ends the debate and leads us to the tale of the parable in verse 37, which ends definitively the dialogue and the parable. In this verse, Jesus repeats to the doctor of the law that he had defined the neighbour as one who was compassionate: «Go and do the same yourself». This phrase of Jesus reminds us of the words at the last supper as recorded in John, when, after the washing of the feet, Jesus invites his disciples to follow his example (Jn 13: 12-15). At the last supper, Jesus bequeaths to his disciples the commandment of love understood as willingness “to give one’s life” in love for each other as the Lord has loved us (Jn 15: 12-14).
This commandment goes beyond the observance of the law. The priest and the Levite have kept the law by not approaching the poor wounded man who is left half dead, so as not to defile themselves (Lev 21: 1). Jesus goes beyond the law and desires his disciples to do as he does. «By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples» (Jn 13: 35). For the disciple of Jesus mere philanthropy is not enough. The Christian is called to something more, which he or she accomplishes in imitation of the Master, as the Apostle Paul said: «We are those who have the mind of Christ» (1 Cor 2: 16) «Because the love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that one man has died for all» (2 Cor 5, 14).

b) Some questions to direct our meditation and practice:
* What touched you most in the parable?
* With whom in the story do you identify?
* Have you ever thought of Jesus as the Good Samaritan?
* Do you feel the need for salvation in your life?
* Can you say with the apostle Paul that you have the mind of Christ?
* What urges you to love your neighbour? Is it the need to love and be loved, or is it compassion and the love of Christ?
* Who is your neighbour?

Canticle - 1Pt 2, 21-24
21 Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Contemplation is knowing how to adhere with one’s mind and heart to the Lord who by his Word transforms us into new beings who always do his will. “Knowing these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (Jn 13: 17)

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites, www.ocarm.org.


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Kateri Tekawitha

Feast DayJuly 14

Patron Saint:  environment and ecology
Attributes: lily, turtle, rosary

Statue of Kateri Tekakwitha by Joseph-Émile Brunet at the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, near Quebec City.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (pronounced [ˈgaderi degaˈgwita] in Mohawk), baptised as Catherine Tekakwitha[2][3] and informally known as Lily of the Mohawks (1656 – April 17, 1680), is a Roman Catholic saint, who was an Algonquin–Mohawk virgin and religious laywoman. Born in Auriesville (now part of New York), she survived smallpox and was orphaned as a child, then baptized as a Roman Catholic and settled for the last years of her life at the Jesuit mission village of Kahnawake, south of Montreal in New France, now Canada.

Tekakwitha professed a vow of virginity until her death at the age of 24. Known for her virtue of chastity and corporal mortification of the flesh, as well as being shunned by her tribe for her religious conversion to Catholicism, she is the fourth Native American to be venerated in the Roman Catholic Church (after Juan Diego, the Mexican Indian of the Virgin of Guadalupe apparitions, and two other Oaxacan Indians).[4] She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter's Basilica on October 21, 2012.[4][5] Various miracles and supernatural events are attributed to her intercession.

Early life and education

Kateri Tekakwitha (the name "Kateri" is derived from the French Catherine, her baptismal name) was born around 1656 in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon near present-day Auriesville, New York. She was the daughter of a Mohawk chief, and Tagaskouita, a Roman Catholic Algonquin who had been adopted into the tribe after capture. Her mother Tagaskouita had been baptized and educated by French missionaries in Trois-Rivières, east of Montreal. Mohawk warriors captured her and took her to their homeland.[6] Tagaskouita eventually married Kenneronkwa.[7]

Tekakwitha's village was highly diverse, as the Mohawk were absorbing many captured natives of other tribes, particularly their competitors the Huron, to replace people who died from European diseases or warfare. She was most likely born into the Turtle Clan. (The Mohawk and other Iroquois have a matrilineal kinship system, in which children are born into the mother's clan and take their status from her. However, since her mother was an Algonquin woman captured and brought into the Mohawk community, Tekakwitha was born into her father's clan.)

The Mohawks suffered a smallpox epidemic from 1661 to 1663. When Tekakwitha was around four years old, her baby brother and both her parents died of smallpox. She survived the disease, but was left with facial scars and impaired eyesight.[8] She was adopted by her father's sister and her husband, a chief of the Turtle Clan. Shortly afterwards, the survivors of Ossernenon built a new village at the top of a hill, a mile or two west up the Mohawk River along its southern bank. They called their new village Caughnawaga ("at the wild water" in the Mohawk language).[9]

The Jesuits’ account of Tekakwitha said that she was a modest girl who avoided social gatherings; she covered much of her head with a blanket because of the smallpox scars. They told that, as an orphan, she was under the care of uninterested relatives. According to Mohawk practices, she was probably well taken care of by her clan, her mother and uncle's extended family, with whom she lived in the longhouse. She became skilled at traditional women’s arts, which included making clothing and belts from animal skins; weaving mats, baskets and boxes from reeds and grasses; and preparing food from game, crops and gathered produce. She took part in the women's seasonal planting and intermittent weeding. She was pressured to consider marriage around age thirteen, but she refused.[7]

Upheaval and invasions

Tekakwitha grew up in a period of upheaval, as the Mohawk interacted with French and Dutch colonists. In the fur trade, the Mohawk originally traded with the Dutch, who had settled in Albany and Schenectady. The French traded with and were allied with the Huron. Trying to make inroads in Iroquois territory, the French attacked the Mohawk in present-day central New York in 1666. After driving the people from their homes, the French burned all three Mohawk villages, destroying the longhouses, wigwams and the women's corn and squash fields. Tekakwitha, now around ten years old, fled with her new family into a cold October forest.[10]

After the defeat by the French forces, the Mohawk were forced into a peace treaty that required them to accept Jesuit missionaries in their villages. While there, the Jesuits studied Mohawk and other native languages in order to reach the people. They spoke of Christianity in terms with which the Mohawk could identify. In his work on Tekakwitha, Darren Bonaparte notes the parallels between some elements of Mohawk and Christian belief. For instance, the Jesuits used the word Karonhià:ke, the Mohawk name for Sky World, as the word for heaven in the Lord’s Prayer in Mohawk. "This was not just a linguistic shortcut, but a conceptual bridge from one cosmology to another."[8]

The Mohawk crossed their river to rebuild Caughnawaga on the north bank, west of the present-day town of Fonda, New York. In 1667, when Tekakwitha was 11 years old, she met the Jesuits Jacques Frémin, Jacques Bruyas, and Jean Pierron, who had come to the village.[11] Her uncle opposed any contact with them because he did not want her to convert to Christianity. One of his older daughters had already left Caughnawaga to go to the Iroquois Catholic mission village near Montreal.

In the summer of 1669, several hundred Mohican warriors, advancing from the east, launched a dawn attack on Caughnawaga. Rousing quickly to the defense, Mohawk villagers fought off the invaders, who kept Caughnawaga under siege for three days. Tekakwitha, now around 13 years old, joined other girls to help priest Jean Pierron tend to the wounded, bury the dead and carry food and water to the defending warriors on the palisades.

When reinforcements arrived from other Mohawk villages, the defenders drove the Mohican warriors into retreat. The victorious Mohawks then pursued the Mohicans and attacked them in the forest, killing over 80 and capturing several others. Returning to Caughnawaga amidst widespread celebration, the victors tortured the captive Mohicans—thirteen men and four women—for two afternoons in succession, planning to execute them on the third. Pierron, now tending to the captives, implored the torturers to stop, but they paid him no heed. Pierron then instructed the captives in Catholic doctrine as best he could and baptized them before they died under torture.[12]

Feast of the Dead

Later in 1669, the Iroquois Feast of the Dead, held every ten years, was convened at Caughnawaga. Some Oneidas came, along with Onondagas led by their famous sachem Garakontié. Tekakwitha's parents, along with others who had died in the previous decade, were to be carefully exhumed, so that their souls could be released to wander to the spirit land to the west.[13]

Father Pierron, in a bold and provocative speech, attacked the beliefs and logic of the Feast of the Dead. The assembled Iroquois, upset over his remarks, ordered him to be silent. But Pierron continued, exhorting the Iroquois to give up their “superstitious” rites. Still pressured, Pierron departed from the Feast but returned along with the Onondaga sachem Garakontié. Under Garakontié's protection Pierron finished his speech. He demanded that, to secure continued friendship with the French, the Iroquois give up their Feast of the Dead, their faith in dreams as a guide to action, and the worship of their war god. At length, the assembled Iroquois relented. Exchanging gifts with priest Pierron, they promised to give up the customs and rituals he had denounced.[14] Garakontié himself later became a Christian.

A chief converts

In 1671, Mohawk chief Ganeagowa, who had led his warriors to victory against the Mohicans, returned from a long hunting trip in the north to announce he had become a Christian. Traveling through the forests along the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River, he had discovered a Catholic Iroquois village set up by Jesuits a few years earlier at La Prairie, southeast of Montreal. There he made friendly contact with priest Jacques Frémin, who had served as a missionary in Mohawk country. Influenced by the Catholic faith of the Iroquois villagers and of his own wife Satékon, Ganeagowa received instruction for several months from Father Frémin, who then accepted him into the Church.[15]

Family pressures

By the time Tekakwitha turned 17 around 1673, her adoptive mother (her father's sister) and aunt (uncle's sister) had become concerned over her lack of interest in young men as romantic partners or potential husbands. They tried to arrange her marriage to a young Mohawk man. Tekakwitha fled the cabin after the young man had entered and sat down beside her. For this bold rebuff of their marriage scheme, Tekakwitha's aunts punished her with ridicule, threats, and harsh workloads. While submitting to their work demands, Tekakwitha stayed firm in her resistance to marriage.[16] Eventually, her aunts gave up their attempts to get her to marry.

In the spring of 1675 at age eighteen, Tekakwitha met the Jesuit Father Jacques de Lamberville and started studying the catechism with him.[7]

Conversion and Kahnawake

Judging her ready for true conversion, Lamberville baptized Tekakwitha at the age of 20, on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1676.[17] This is significant because, according to Jesuit policy, baptism was usually withheld for new converts until one was on his deathbed or until the missionaries could be certain that the convert would be committed.[11]

After Catherine was baptized, she remained in Caughnawauga for only another 6 months. Some Mohawks opposed her conversion and accused her of sorcery and sexual promiscuity.[11] Lamberville suggested that she go to the Jesuit mission of Kahnawake, located south of Montreal on the St. Lawrence River, where other native converts had gathered. Catherine joined them in 1677.[18]

The historian Allan Greer notes that most of these early converts to Christianity were women. They lived in a way which they thought was integral to Christianity, dependent on charity. They devoted their bodies and souls to God and participated in mortification of the flesh. There were similar practices among Mohawk traditions, usually carried out by warriors.[7] Despite opposition from the Jesuits, the women of the village continued to practice mortification, usually in groups, claiming it was needed to relieve their people of their past sins.[7] The people of Kahnawake usually followed the directions of the Jesuits; at other times, they evaded their control. On the whole, they wanted to experience the sacred and spiritual life, and they were determined to do this with or without the Jesuits.[7]

Tekakwitha was said to have put thorns on her sleeping mat and to have lain on them while praying for the conversion and forgiveness of her kinsmen. Piercing the body to draw blood was a traditional practice of the Mohawk and other Iroquois nations. She lived at Kahnawake the remaining two years of her life. She learned more about Christianity under her mentor Anastasia, who taught her about the practice of repenting for one’s sins. When the women learned of nuns and female convents, they wanted to form their own and created an informal association of devout women.

Father Cholonec wrote that Tekakwitha said,
“I have deliberated enough. For a long time my decision on what I will do has been made. I have consecrated myself entirely to Jesus, son of Mary, I have chosen Him for husband and He alone will take me for wife”.[11]
The Church considers that in 1679, with her decision on the Feast of the Annunciation, her conversion was truly completed and she became the “first virgin” among the Mohawk.[11]

Mission du Sault St. Louis: Kahnawake

The Jesuits had founded Kahnawake for the religious conversion of the natives. When it began, the natives built longhouses for residences. They also built a longhouse to be used as a chapel by the Jesuits. As a missionary settlement, Kahnawake was at risk of being attacked by nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.[7] (While it attracted other Iroquois, it was predominately Mohawks.)

After Catherine's arrival, she shared the longhouse of her older sister and her husband. She would have known other people in the longhouse who had migrated from their former village of Gandaouagué (also spelled Caughnawaga). Her mother’s close friend, Anastasia Tegonhatsiongo, was clan matron of the longhouse. Anastasia and other Mohawk women introduced Tekakwitha to the regular practices of Christianity.[7]

Chauchetière and Cholenec

Claude Chauchetière and Pierre Cholenec were Jesuit priests who played important roles in Tekakwitha’s life. Both were based in New France and in Kahnawake. Chauchetière was the first to write a biography of Tekakwitha’s life, followed by Cholenec, in 1695 and 1696, respectively.[7] Cholenec arrived in New France in 1672, before Chauchetière.[19] Father Cholenec introduced whips, hair shirts and iron girdles, traditional items of Catholic mortification, to the converts at Kahnawake so they would adopt these rather than use Mohawk practices.[7]

Both Chauchetière and Tekakwitha arrived in Kahnawake the same year, in 1677. He later wrote about having been very impressed by her, as he had not expected a native to be so pious.[20] Chauchetière came to believe that Catherine Tekakwitha was a saint. Jesuits generally thought that the natives needed Christian guidance to be set on the right path. Chauchetière acknowledged that close contact with and deeper knowledge of the natives in Kahnawake changed some of his set notions about the people and about differences among human cultures.[7] In his biography of her, he stressed her "charity, industry, purity, and fortitude."[21] In contrast, Cholenec stressed her virginity, perhaps to counter stereotypes of promiscuous Indian women.[21]

Corporal mortification

The Jesuits wanted to guide natives and share their Catholic religion, but at this time, they did not provide for natives to be trained or ordained as clergy or religious. The most devout of the natives wanted full access to the religion and believed that some secrets were being held from them. As most converts to Catholicism were women, they comprised the majority of the devout.[7]
Tekakwitha met Marie-Thérèse Tegaiaguenta for the first time in the spring of 1678. Aspiring to devotion, they began to practice mutual flagellation in secret. Cholenec wrote that Catherine could flog herself between one thousand and twelve hundred blows in one session. Tekakwitha's dedication to ritual mortification became more intense and consuming over the remainder of her life; she included prolonged fasting, flogging, cutting, sleeping on a bed of thorns, and burning herself with hot coals.[22]

Her spiritual directors became concerned that Tekakwitha's mortifications were impacting her health and encouraged her to lighten them on occasion. At one time when her health was particularly poor, Fr. Cholonec suggested to Tekakwitha that she retire to the wilderness with her relations who were engaging in the winter hunt. This was to restore her strength, given that diet and the air in the forest was more conducive to health than life in the village. Fr. Cholonec reported that Tekakwitha said in reply:

"It is true, my Father, that my body is served most luxuriously in the forest, but the soul languishes there, and is not able to satisfy its hunger. On the contrary, in the village the body suffers; I am contented that it should be so, but the soul finds its delight in being near to Jesus Christ. Well then, I will willingly abandon this miserable body to hunger and suffering, provided that my soul may have its ordinary nourishment.[23]
Marie Skarichions told Catherine and Marie-Thérèse about nuns, female religious, and their role in the Catholic religion. Through their mutual quest, the two women had a strong "spiritual friendship," as described by the Jesuits.[7] The two women influenced a circle of associates. When they asked the Jesuits for permission to form a group of native disciples, they were told they were too "young in faith" for such a group.The women continued to practice together, including mortification of the flesh. Marie-Thérèse eventually left the group, supposedly due to personal issues. Catherine tried to reintegrate her into the group until her death. She had often given her guidance. Examples recorded by the priests were the following:
  • "Take courage, despite the words of those who have no faith."
  • "Be assured that you are pleasing in the sight of God and that I shall help you when I am with Him."
  • "Never give up mortification."[7]

Death and appearances

Around the period of Holy Week 1680, friends noted that Tekakwitha was failing. When people knew she had but a few hours left, villagers gathered together, accompanied by the priests Chauchetière and Cholenec. Cholenec provided the last rites.[7] Catherine Tekakwitha died on Wednesday in the Holy Week, April 17, 1680, at around 15:00 (3 PM), at the age of 23 or 24, in the arms of her friend Marie-Therèse. Chauchetière reports her final words were, "Jesus, I love you."[24]

After her death, the people noticed a physical change. Cholenec later wrote, “This face, so marked and swarthy, suddenly changed about a quarter of an hour after her death, and became in a moment so beautiful and so white that I observed it immediately.”Tekakwitha is said to have appeared before three individuals in the weeks after her death; Anastasia Tegonhatsiongo (her mentor), Marie-Therèse Tegaiaguenta (her companion) and Father Chauchetière. Anastasia said that, while crying over the death of her daughter, she looked up to see Catherine "kneeling at the foot" of her mattress, "holding a wooden cross that shone like the sun". Marie-Thérèse reported that she was awakened at night by a knocking on her wall, and a voice asked if she were awake, adding, "I’ve come to say good-bye; I’m on my way to heaven." Marie-Thérèse went outside but saw no one; she heard a voice murmur, "Adieu, Adieu, go tell the father that I’m going to heaven." Chauchetière reported seeing Catherine at her grave; he said she appeared in "baroque splendour; for 2 hours he gazed upon her" and "her face lifted toward heaven as if in ecstasy."[7]

Chauchetière had a chapel built near her gravesite. By 1684, pilgrimages had begun to honour her there. The Jesuits turned her bones to dust and set the ashes within the "newly rebuilt mission chapel." This symbolized her presence on earth. Her physical remains were sometimes used as relics for healing.


Tekakwitha's grave stone reads:

Because of Tekakwitha's notable path to chastity, she is often referred to as a lily, a traditional symbol of purity among Roman Catholics and one often used for the Virgin Mary. Religious images of Tekakwitha are often decorated with a lily and cross, with feathers or turtle as cultural accessories. Colloquial terms for Tekakwitha are The Lily of the Mohawks (most notable), the Mohawk Maiden, the Pure and Tender Lily, the Flower among True Men, the Lily of Purity and The New Star of the New World. Her tribal neighbors referred to her as "the fairest flower that ever bloomed among the redmen."'[25] Her virtues are considered an ecumenical bridge between Mohawk and European cultures.

Religious veneration

Statue of Tekakwitha at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico
For some time after her death, Tekakwitha was considered an honorary yet unofficial patroness of Montreal, Canada, and Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Fifty years after her death, a convent for Native American nuns opened in Mexico. They have prayed for her and support her canonization.

The process for Tekakwitha's canonization was initiated by United States Catholics in 1884, followed by Canadian Catholics. In January 3, 1943, Pope Pius XII declared her venerable. She was beatified as Catherine Tekakwitha on June 22, 1980, by Pope John Paul II.[26]

On December 19, 2011, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints certified a second miracle through her intercession, signed by Pope Benedict XVI, which paved the way for pending canonization.[27] On February 18, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI decreed that Tekakwitha be canonized. Speaking in Latin, he used the form "Catharina Tekakwitha"; the official booklet of the ceremony referred to her in English and Italian, as "Kateri Tekakwitha".[28] She was canonized on October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.[24] In the official canonization rite booklet, "Catherine" is used in the English and French biographies and "Kateri" in the translation of the rite itself.[29] She is the first North American Native American woman to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

Tekakwitha is featured in four national shrines in the United States: the National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha in Fonda, New York; the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York; the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and The National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods, an open air sanctuary in Indian River, Michigan, was inspired by Kateri's habit of placing small wooden crossed throughout the woods. One statue on the grounds shows her cradling a cross in her arms, surrounded by turtles. [3]

A statue of Tekakwitha is installed outside the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. Another is installed at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Tekakwitha has been featured in recently created religious works. In 2007, the Grand Retablo, a 40-foot-high work by Spanish artisans, was installed behind the main altar of the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, California. It features Catherine Tekakwitha, Junipero Serra, St. Joseph, and Francis of Assisi.[30][31]

A bronze statue of Kateri kneeling in prayer was installed in 2008, created by artist Cynthia Hitschler,[32] along the devotional walkway leading to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wisconsin.[33] Another life-size statue of Kateri is located at the National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston, New York. A bronze figure of Kateri is included on the bronze front doors of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.[34] The Maryknoll Sisters at 10 Pinesbridge Rd, Ossening, NY have had a statue of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha on their grounds since 1939. It was a gift of the family of Maryknoll Sister Mary Theodore Farley. The statue honors the Maryknoll Sisters' origins as a U.S. mission congregation.[35]


Bronze statue of Kateri Tekakwitha, by Jemez Pueblo artist Estella Loretto. Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi Santa Fe, New Mexico
Joseph Kellogg was a Protestant child captured by Natives in the eighteenth century and eventually returned to his home. Twelve months later, he caught smallpox. The Jesuits helped treat him, but he was not recovering. They had relics from Tekakwitha’s grave, but did not want to use them on a non-Catholic. One Jesuit told Kellogg that, if he would become a Roman Catholic, help would come to him. Joseph did so. The Jesuit gave him a piece of decayed wood from Kateri's coffin, which is said to have made him heal. The historian Greer takes this account to mean that Tekakwitha was known in 18th-century New France, and she was already perceived to have healing abilities.[7]

Other alleged miracles were attributed to Kateri: Father Rémy recovered his hearing and a nun in Montreal was cured by using items formerly belonging to Catherine. In those times, such incidents were evidence that Catherine was possibly a saint. Following the death of a person, sainthood is symbolized by events that show the rejection of death. It is also represented by a duality of pain and a neutralisation of the other’s pain (all shown by her reputed miracles in New France).[7] Father Chauchetière told settlers in La Prairie to pray to Catherine for intercession with illnesses. His words and Catherine’s fame were said to reach even Jesuits in China and their converts.[7]

As people believed in her healing powers, some collected earth from her gravesite and wore it in bags as a relic. One woman said she was saved from pneumonia ("grande maladie du rhume"), and gave the pendant to her husband, who was healed from his disease.[7]

Tradition holds that Tekakwitha's smallpox scars vanished at the time of her death in 1680. Pope Pius XII declared her "Venerable" in 1943.[36] Pilgrims who attended her funeral reported healings.

On December 19, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI approved the second miracle needed for Kateri's canonization.[37] The authorized miracle dates from 2006, when a young boy in Washington state survived a severe flesh-eating bacterium. Doctors had been unable to stop the progress of the disease by surgery and advised his parents he was likely to die. The boy received the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick from a Catholic priest. As the boy is half Lummi Indian, the parents said they prayed through Tekakwitha for divine intercession, as did their family and friends, and an extended network contacted through their son's classmates.[38] A Catholic nun, Sister Kateri Mitchell visited the boy's bedside and placed a relic of Tekakwitha, a bone fragment, against his body and prayed together with his parents.[39] The next day, the infection stopped its progression.[40]


Mohawk scholar Orenda Boucher noted that despite extensive support for Tekakwitha's canonization, there continued to exist some controversy around her relationship with the local population of Kahnawake. For many Mohawk people in the community, Tekakwitha is seen as a connection to colonialism, and does not embody or reflect Mohawk womanhood. [41]

Cultural references

The historian K. I. Koppedrayer has suggested that the Catholic Church fathers' hagiography of Tekakwitha reflected "some of the trials and rewards of the European presence in the New World."[11] Based on accounts from two Jesuit priests who knew her, at least 300 books have been published in more than 20 languages on the life of Kateri Tekakwitha.[8]

In addition, Tekakwitha has been featured in novels:
  • Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers (1966);
  • William Vollman, Fathers and Crows (1992), second novel of the Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes series, includes her as a character, together with French colonists and priests.
Tekakwitha is also a very important figure at Camp Ondessonk, a Catholic youth camp in southern Illinois. One of the cabin units in which campers stay is named after her. She is also one of the namesakes of Camp Ondessonk's honor society, The Lodges of Ondessonk and Tekakwitha.


There are several elementary schools named after Kateri Tekakwitha in Ontario, including Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School in Toronto[42] and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School in Orléans. The St. Kateri Tekakwitha School in Schenectady, New York was so named on the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012. The St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, also located in Schenectady, was founded by merging the Our Lady of Fatima and St. Helen's churches.

A cluster parish was formed in Irondequoit, NY in 2010 taking the name Blessed Kateri Parish; later changing the name to Saint Kateri after her canonization.

"Kateri Residence", an Archdiocese of New York's Catholic Charities nursing home at 150 Riverside Drive in Manhattan, New York 10024 is named after her.

Saint Kateri is the patron saint of John Cabot Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga.

There is also the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church in Valencia California, which houses a statue of Kateri inside the church - http://www.blessedkateriparish.org/ (contribution:[43]


  1. ^ Pierre Cholence, S.J., "Catharinae Tekakwitha, Virginis" (1696), Acta Apostolica Sedis, January 30, 1961
  2. ^ Pierre Cholenec, S.J. (1696). The Life of Catherine Tekakwitha, First Iroquois Virgin. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  3. ^ Claude Chauchetiere, S.J. (1695). "The Life of the Good Catherine Tekakwitha, said now Saint Catherine Tekakwitha". Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  4. ^ a b Pope Canonizes 7 Saints, Including 2 With New York Ties, The New York Times, 22 October 2012.
  5. ^ EWTN Televised Broadcast: "Public Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals", Rome, February 18, 2012. Saint Peter's Basilica. Closing remarks before recession preceded by Cardinal Agostino Vallini.
  6. ^ Juliette Lavergne, La Vie gracieuse de Catherine Tekakwitha, Editions A.C.F., Montreal, 1934, pp. 13-43
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Greer, Allan (2005). Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–205.
  8. ^ a b c Darren Bonaparte (Mohawk), "A Lily Among Thorns: The Mohawk Repatriation of Káteri Tekahkwí:tha", presented at 30th Conference on New York State History, 5 June 2009, Plattsburgh, New York, accessed 25 July 2012
  9. ^ Francis X. Weiser, S.J. Kateri Tekakwitha, Kateri Center, Caughnawaga, Canada, 1972, p. 34.
  10. ^ Daniel Sargent, Catherine Tekakwitha, Longmans, Green & Co., New York, 1936, p. 164.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Koppedrayer, K. I. "The Making of the First Iroquois Virgin: Early Jesuit Biographies of the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha". Ethnohistory (Duke University Press): 277–306.
  12. ^ Francis X. Weiser, S.J. Kateri Tekakwitha, Kateri Center, Caughnawaga, Canada, 1972, pp. 50-2.
  13. ^ Daniel Sargent, Catherine Tekakwitha, Longmans, Green & Co., New York, 1936, p. 167. Also, J.N.B. Hewitt, “The Iroquoian Concept of the Soul,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 8, Boston, 1895, p. 109.
  14. ^ Daniel Sargent, Catherine Tekakwitha, Longmans, Green & Co., New York, 1936, pp. 167-8.
  15. ^ Francis X. Weiser, S.J. Kateri Tekakwitha, Kateri Center, Caughnawaga, Canada, 1972, p. 61.
  16. ^ Edward Lecompte, S.J., Glory of the Mohawks: The Life of the Venerable Catherine Tekakwitha, translated by Florence Ralston Werum, FRSA, Bruce Publishing Co., Milwaukee, 1944, p. 28; Francis X. Weiser, S.J., Kateri Tekakwitha, Kateri Center, Caughnawaga, Canada, 1972, pp. 65-8.
  17. ^ Lodi, Enzo (1992). Saints of the Roman Calendar (Eng. Trans.). New York: Alba House. p. 419. ISBN 0-8189-0652-9.
  18. ^ Je Me Souviens: Histoire du Québec et du Canada. Ottawa: Éditions du Renouveau Pédagogique Inc. 1995. p. 32.
  19. ^ Béchard, Henri. "Cholenec, Pierre". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  20. ^ Jaenen, C. J. "Chauchetière, Claude". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  21. ^ a b Leslie Choquette, Review: Allan Greer, Mohawk Saint, H-France Review, Vol. 5 (October 2005), No. 109; accessed 25 July 2012
  22. ^ Bill Donahue, "The Secret World of Saints: Inside the Catholic Church and the Mysterious Process of Anointing the Holy Dead;" Byliner Original, (single), December 21, 2011;ASIN: B006P2X86U
  23. ^ Cholonec, Rev. Pierre (2012). Kateri Tekakwitha: The Iroquois Saint. Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-935228-09-7.
  24. ^ a b Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
  25. ^ Bunson, Margaret and Stephen, "Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of this Mohawks," Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions brochure, p. 1
  26. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis LIII (1961), p. 82. Note: The official beatification register postulated by Rev. Anton Witwer, S.J. to the Roman Catholic Church bears her name as Catherine. The 1961 edition of Acta Apostolicae Sedis refers in Latin to her cause of beatification as that of "Ven. Catharinae Tekakwitha, virginis".
  27. ^ "Pope OKs 7 New Saints, Including Hawaii’s Marianne". Salon. December 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  28. ^ Concistoro Ordinario Pubblico ... Basilica Vaticana, 18 febbraio 2012, pp. 33–39
  29. ^ [1]
  30. ^ Ignatin, Heather (April 19, 2007). "Retablo draws crowds at Mission Basilica". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  31. ^ Mission San Juan Capistrano: Grand Retablo en Route to San Juan Capistrano, Installation expected March 19, February 9, 2007
  32. ^ "Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks: Bronze, Height 55". Celstumo.com. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  33. ^ "Mohawk Woman Enshrined at Shrine" (Orso, Joe), La Crosse Tribune, 31 July 2008:[2]
  34. ^ Reports, Staff. "Lewiston: Statue Dedication at Fatima". Niagara Gazette. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  35. ^ http://www.maryknollsisters.org/catholic-mission/index.php/resources/videos?vid=105. Article entitled Lily of the Mohawks, pgs 31,32, Maryknoll Magazine, Sept/Oct 2012. Vol 106. Number 5.
  36. ^ "Tekakwitha, Kateri", The Canadian Encyclopedia
  37. ^ "PROMULGAZIONE DI DECRETI DELLA CONGREGAZIONE DELLE CAUSE DEI SANTI". catholica.va. December 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  38. ^ Discepolo, John (December 20, 2011). "Vatican calls Whatcom boy's survival a miracle". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  39. ^ "Kateri Tekakwitha: First Catholic Native American saint". BBC News. October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  40. ^ "Boy's miracle cure makes first Native American saint". Associated Press. October 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  41. ^ 1st Native American saint stirs pride, skepticism http://news.yahoo.com/1st-native-american-saint-stirs-pride-skepticism-164656143.html 1st Native American saint stirs pride, skepticism. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  42. ^ http://york.cioc.ca/record/MKM1867
  43. ^ http://www.nodeju.com/2950/us-has-new-native-american-saint.html

Further reading

  • Cholonec, Rev. Pierre. "Kateri Tekakwitha: The Iroquois Saint". (Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing, 2012) ISBN 978-1935228097.
  • Lecompte, Edward, S.J. Glory of the Mohawks: The Life of the Venerable Catherine Tekakwitha, translated by Florence Ralston Werum, FRSA. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co., 1944.
  • Litkowski, Mary Pelagia, O.P. Kateri Tekakwitha: Joyful Lover. Battle Creek, Michigan: Growth Unlimited Inc., 1989.
  • Sargent, Daniel. Catherine Tekakwitha. New York and Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co., 1936.
  • Shoemaker, Nancy. "Kateri Tekakwitha's Tortuous Path to Sainthood," in Nancy Shoemaker, ed. Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women (New York: Routledge, 1995), p. 49–71.
  • Steckley, John. Beyond their Years: Five Native Women's Stories, Canadian Scholars Press 1999 ISBN 978-1551301501

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:  Iroquois

    Traditional Iroquois longhouse

    The Iroquois also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse",[1] are a league of several nations and tribes of indigenous people of North America. After the Iroquoian-speaking peoples of present-day central and upstate New York coalesced as distinct tribes, by the 16th century or earlier, they came together in an association known today as the Iroquois League, or the "League of Peace and Power".[2] The Iroquois are a matrilineal society. They have clan mothers, or main women of the leagues.

    The original Iroquois League was often known as the Five Nations, as it was composed of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations. After the Tuscarora nation joined the League in 1722, the Iroquois became known as the Six Nations. The League is embodied in the Grand Council, an assembly of fifty hereditary sachems.[2] Other Iroquian peoples lived along the St. Lawrence River, around the Great Lakes and in the American Southeast, but they were not part of the Haudenosaunee and often competed and warred with these tribes.

    When Europeans first arrived in North America, the Haudenosaunee were based in what is now the northeastern United States, primarily in what is referred to today as upstate New York west of the Hudson River and through the Finger Lakes region.[3] Today, the Iroquois live primarily in New York, Quebec, and Ontario.

    The Iroquois League has also been known as the Iroquois Confederacy. Modern scholars distinguish between the League and the Confederacy.[4][5][6] According to this interpretation, the Iroquois League refers to the ceremonial and cultural institution embodied in the Grand Council, while the Iroquois Confederacy is the decentralized political and diplomatic entity that emerged in response to European colonization. The League still exists. The Confederacy dissolved after the defeat of the British and allied Iroquois nations in the American Revolutionary War.[4]


    The Iroquois call themselves the Haudenosaunee, which means "People of the Longhouse," or more accurately, "They Are Building a Long House." According to their tradition, The Great Peacemaker introduced the name at the time of the formation of the League. It implies that the nations of the League should live together as families in the same longhouse.[7]

    Traditionally, Kanien:kéhaka (Mohawk) are the guardians of the eastern door, as they are located in the east closest to the Hudson, and the Seneca are the guardians of the western door of the "tribal longhouse", the territory they controlled in New York. Onoñda'gega'(Onondaga), whose homeland is in the center of Haudenosaunee territory, are keepers of the League's (both literal and figurative) central flame. The French colonists called the Haudenosaunee by the name of Iroquois.[7] The name has two possible origins, both deriving from tribes that were enemies of the Haudenosaunee:
    • French transliteration of irinakhoiw, a Huron (Wyandot) name for the Haudenosaunee. As the Hurons were traditional enemies, they used a derogatory term, meaning "black snakes" or "real adders". The Haudenosaunee and Huron were traditional enemies, as the Huron were allied with the French and tried to protect their access to fur traders.
    • French linguists, such as Henriette Walter, and anthropologists, such as Dean Snow, support the following explanation. Prior to French colonization, Basque fishermen traded with the Algonquins, who were enemies of the Haudenosaunee. The above scholars think "Iroquois" was derived from a Basque expression, hilokoa, meaning the "killer people". Because there is no "L" sound in the Algonquian languages of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence region, the Algonquian tribes used the name Hirokoa for the Haudenosaunee. They applied this to the pidgin language they used with the Basque. The French transliterated the word according to their own phonetic rules and arrived at "Iroquois".[8]


    Formation of the League

    Engraving based on a drawing by Champlain of his 1609 voyage. It depicts a battle between Iroquois and Algonquian tribes near Lake Champlain
    Members of the League speak Iroquoian languages that are distinctly different from those of other Iroquoian speakers. This suggests that while the different Iroquoian tribes have a common historical and cultural origin, they diverged as peoples over a sufficiently long time that their languages (and cultures) became different, and they distinguished themselves as different peoples. Archaeological evidence suggests that Iroquois ancestors lived in the Finger Lakes region from at least 1000.[9]

    After becoming united in the League, the Iroquois invaded the Ohio River Valley in present-day Kentucky to seek additional hunting grounds. According to one theory of pre-contact history, the Haudenosaunee by about 1200 pushed tribes of the Ohio River valley, such as the Quapaw (Akansea) and Ofo (Mosopelea), out of the region in a migration west of the Mississippi River.[10] However, Robert La Salle listed the Mosopelea among the Ohio Valley peoples defeated by the Iroquois in the early 1670s, during the later Beaver Wars.[11]

    By 1673, the Siouan-speaking groups had settled in the Midwest, establishing what became known as their historical territories. Just as the Siouan peoples were displaced by the Iroquois, they displaced less powerful tribes whom they encountered west of the Mississippi, such as the Osage, who moved further west.[10]

    The Iroquois League was established prior to major European contact. Most archaeologists and anthropologists believe that the League was formed sometime between about 1450 and 1600.[12][13] A few claims have been made for an earlier date.

    One recent study argues that the League formed shortly after a solar eclipse on August 31, 1142, an occurrence apparently related to oral tradition about the League's origins.[14][15][16] Anthropologist Dean Snow argues that the archaeological evidence does not support a date earlier than 1450, and that recent claims for a much earlier date "may be for contemporary political purposes".[17]

    According to tradition, the League was formed through the efforts of two men, Dekanawida, sometimes known as the Great Peacemaker, and Hiawatha. They brought a message, known as the Great Law of Peace, to the squabbling Iroquoian nations. The nations who joined the League were the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca. Once they ceased most of their infighting, the Iroquois rapidly became one of the strongest forces in 17th- and 18th-century northeastern North America.

    According to legend, an evil Onondaga chieftain named Tadodaho was the last converted to the ways of peace by The Great Peacemaker and Hiawatha. He became the spiritual leader of the Haudenosaunee.[18] This is said to have occurred at Onondaga Lake near Syracuse, New York. The title Tadodaho is still used for the league's spiritual leader, the fiftieth chief, who sits with the Onondaga in council. He is the only one of the fifty to have been chosen by the entire Haudenosaunee people. The current Tadodaho is Sid Hill of the Onondaga Nation.


    In Reflections in Bullough's Pond, historian Diana Muir argues that the pre-contact Iroquois were an imperialist, expansionist culture whose use of the corn/beans/squash agricultural complex enabled them to support a large population. They made war against Algonquian peoples. Muir uses archaeological data to argue that the Iroquois expansion onto Algonquian lands was checked by the Algonquian adoption of agriculture. This enabled them to support their own populations large enough to have sufficient warriors to defend against the threat of Iroquois conquest.[19]

     The Iroquois may be the Kwedech described in the oral legends of the Mi'kmaq nation of Eastern Canada. These legends relate that the Mi'kmaq in the late pre-contact period had gradually driven their enemies – the Kwedech – westward across New Brunswick, and finally out of the Lower St. Lawrence River region. The Mi'kmaq named the last-conquered land "Gespedeg" or "last land," leading to the French word Gaspé. The "Kwedech" are generally considered to have been Iroquois, specifically the Mohawk; their expulsion from Gaspé by the Mi'kmaq has been estimated as occurring ca. 1535-1600.[20]

    Around 1535, Jacques Cartier reported Iroquoian-speaking groups on the Gaspé peninsula and along the St. Lawrence River. Archeologists and anthropologists have defined the St. Lawrence Iroquoians as a distinct and separate group (and possibly several discrete groups), living in the villages of Hochelaga and others nearby (near present-day Montreal), which had been visited by Cartier. By 1608, when Samuel de Champlain visited the area, that part of the St. Lawrence River valley had no settlements, but was controlled by the Mohawk as a hunting ground. On the Gaspé peninsula, Champlain encountered Algonquian-speaking groups. The precise identity of any of these groups is still debated.

    The Iroquois became well known in the south by this time. After the first English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia (1607), numerous 17th-century accounts describe a powerful people known to the Powhatan Confederacy as the Massawomeck, and to the French as the Antouhonoron. They were said to come from the north, beyond the Susquehannock territory. Historians have often identified the Massawomeck / Antouhonoron as the Iroquois proper. Other Iroquoian candidates include the Erie, who were destroyed by the Iroquois in 1654 over competition for the fur trade.[21]

    Over the years 1670-1710, the Five Nations achieved political dominance of most of Virginia west of the fall line and extending to the Ohio River valley in present-day West Virginia. They reserved it as a hunting ground by right of conquest and continued to claim it until 1722, when they began selling land in the area to their British allies.

    Beaver Wars

    Map of the New York tribes before European arrival:
      Iroquoian tribes
      Algonquian tribes
    Beginning in 1609, the League engaged in the Beaver Wars against the French, their Huron allies, and other neighboring tribes, including the Petun, Erie, and Susquehannock. They also put great pressure on the Algonquian peoples of the Atlantic coast, the Anishinaabe peoples of the boreal Canadian Shield region, and not infrequently fought the English colonies as well. During the Beaver Wars, they were said to have defeated and assimilated the Huron (1649), Petun (1650) the Neutral Nation (1651),[22][23] Erie Tribe(1657), and Susquehannock (1680).[24] The traditional view is that these wars were a way to control the lucrative fur trade in order to access European goods on which they had become dependent.[25][26] Recent scholarship has elaborated on this view, arguing that the Beaver Wars were an escalation of the "Mourning Wars" that were an integral part of Iroquois culture.[27] This view suggests that the Iroquois launched large scale attacks against neighboring tribes in order to avenge or replace the massive number of casualties resulting from smallpox epidemics or other battles.

    In 1628, the Mohawk defeated the Mahican to gain a monopoly in the fur trade with the Dutch at Fort Orange, New Netherland. The Mohawk would not allow Canadian native people to trade with the Dutch. In 1645, a tentative peace was forged between the Iroquois and the Hurons, Algonquins, and French.

    In 1646, Jesuit missionaries at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons went as envoys to the Mohawk lands to protect the fragile peace of the time. Mohawk attitudes toward the peace soured while the Jesuits' were traveling and the party was attacked by Mohawk warriors en route. The missionaries were taken to the village of Ossernenon (Auriesville, N.Y.), where the moderate Turtle and Wolf clans recommended setting the priests free.

    Angered, members of the Bear clan killed Jean de Lalande and Isaac Jogues on October 18, 1646. The Catholic Church has commemorated the two French priests as among the eight North American Martyrs. In 1649 during the Beaver Wars, the Iroquois used recently purchased Dutch guns to attack the Hurons, who were allied with the French. These attacks, primarily against the Huron towns of Taenhatentaron (St. Ignace) and St. Louis, were the final battles that effectively destroyed the Huron Confederacy.[28] From 1651 to 1652, the Iroquois attacked the Susquehannocks, without sustained success.

    In the early 17th century, the Iroquois were at the height of their power, with a population of about 12,000 people.[29] In 1654, they invited the French to establish a trading and missionary settlement at Onondaga (in present-day New York state). The following year, the Mohawk attacked and expelled the French from the trading post, possibly because of the sudden death of 500 native people from an epidemic of smallpox, a European infectious disease to which they had no immunity.

    From 1658 to 1663, the Iroquois were at war with the Susquehannock and their Delaware and Province of Maryland allies. In 1663, a large Iroquois invasion force was defeated at the Susquehannock main fort. In 1663, the Iroquois were at war with the Sokoki tribe of the upper Connecticut River. Smallpox struck again; and through the effects of disease, famine and war, the Iroquois were threatened by extermination. In 1664, an Oneida party struck at allies of the Susquehannock on Chesapeake Bay.

    In 1665, three of the Five Nations made peace with the French. The following year, the Canadian Governor sent the Carignan regiment under Marquis de Tracy to confront the Mohawk and the Oneida. The Mohawk avoided battle, but the French burned their villages and crops. In 1667, the remaining two Iroquois Nations signed a peace treaty with the French and agreed to allow their missionaries to visit their villages. This treaty lasted for 17 years.


    Iroquois conquests 1638–1711
    Around 1670, the Iroquois drove the Siouan Mannahoac tribe out of the northern Virginia Piedmont region. They began to claim ownership of the territory by right of conquest. In 1672, the Iroquois were defeated by a war party of Susquehannock. The Iroquois appealed to the French for support and asked Governor Frontenac to assist them against the Susquehannock.
    "It would be a shame for him to allow his children to be crushed, as they saw themselves to be ... they not having the means of going to attack their fort, which was very strong, nor even of defending themselves if the others came to attack them in their villages."[30]
    Some old histories state that the Iroquois defeated the Susquehannock during this time period. As no record of a defeat has been found, historians have concluded that no defeat occurred.[30] In 1677, the Iroquois adopted the majority of the Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannock into their nation.[31]

    By 1677, the Iroquois formed an alliance with the English through an agreement known as the Covenant Chain. Together they battled to a standstill the French, who were allied with the Huron. These Iroquoian people had been a traditional and historic foe of the Confederacy. The Iroquois colonized the northern shore of Lake Ontario and sent raiding parties westward all the way to Illinois Country. The tribes of Illinois were eventually defeated, not by the Iroquois, but rather by the Potawatomis.

    Map showing dates Iroquois claims relinquished, 1701-1796. Note: In the 1701 Nanfan Treaty, the 5 Nations abandoned their nominal claims to "beaver hunting" lands north of the Ohio in favor of England; however these areas were still de facto controlled by other tribes allied with France.
    In 1684, the Iroquois invaded Virginia and Illinois territory again and unsuccessfully attacked French outposts in the latter. Later that year, the Virginia Colony agreed at Albany to recognize the Iroquois' right to use the North-South path running east of the Blue Ridge (later the Old Carolina Road), provided they did not intrude on the English settlements east of the fall line.

    In 1679, the Susquehannock, with Iroquois help, attacked Maryland's Piscataway and Mattawoman allies. Peace was not reached until 1685.

    With support from the French, the Algonquian nations drove the Iroquois out of the territories north of Lake Erie and west of present-day Cleveland, regions they had conquered during the Beaver Wars.[32]

    In 1687, Jacques-René de Brisay de Denonville, Marquis de Denonville, Governor of New France from 1685 to 1689, set out for Fort Frontenac with a well-organized force. There they met with the 50 hereditary sachems of the Iroquois Confederation from the Onondaga council fire, who came under a flag of truce. Denonville recaptured the fort for New France and seized, chained, and shipped the 50 Iroquois chiefs to Marseilles, France, to be used as galley slaves.

    He ravaged the land of the Seneca, landing a French armada at Irondequoit Bay, striking straight into the seat of Seneca power, and destroying many of its villages. Fleeing before the attack, the Seneca moved further west, east and south down the Susquehanna River. Although great damage was done to the Seneca home land, the Seneca’s military might was not appreciably weakened. The Confederacy and the Seneca moved into an alliance with the British in the east; the destruction of the Seneca land infuriated the Iroquois Confederacy. On August 4, 1689, they retaliated by burning to the ground Lachine, a small town adjacent to Montreal. Fifteen hundred Iroquois warriors had been harassing Montreal defenses for many months prior to that. They finally exhausted and defeated Denonville and his forces. His tenure was followed by the return of Frontenac, who succeeded Denonville as Governor for the next nine years (1689–1698). Frontenac had been arranging a new plan of attack to lessen the effects of the Iroquois in North America. Realizing the danger of continuing to hold the sachems, he located the 13 surviving leaders of the 40 originally taken and returned with them to New France that October 1698.

    During King William's War (North American part of the War of the Grand Alliance), the Iroquois were allied with the English. In July 1701, they concluded the "Nanfan Treaty", deeding the English a large tract north of the Ohio River. The Iroquois claimed to have conquered this territory 80 years earlier. France did not recognize the validity of the treaty, as it had the strongest presence of colonists within the area in question. Meanwhile, the Iroquois were negotiating peace with the French; together they signed the Great Peace of Montreal that same year.

    French and Indian Wars

    The four "Mohawk Kings" who travelled to London in 1710.

    After the 1701 peace treaty with the French, the Iroquois remained mostly neutral even though during Queen Anne's War (North American part of the War of the Spanish Succession) they were involved in some planned attacks against the French. Peter Schuyler, mayor of Albany, arranged for three Mohawk chiefs and a Mahican chief (the Four Mohawk Kings) to travel to London in 1710 to meet with Queen Anne in an effort to seal an alliance with the British. Queen Anne was so impressed by her visitors that she commissioned their portraits by court painter John Verelst. The portraits are believed to be the earliest surviving oil portraits of Aboriginal peoples taken from life.[33]

     In the first quarter of the 18th century, the Iroquoian-speaking Tuscarora fled north from the pressure of British colonization of North Carolina and intertribal warfare. They petitioned to become the sixth nation of the Confederacy. This was a non-voting position but placed them under the protection of the Haudenosaunee.

    Iroquois engaging in trade with Europeans, 1722
    In 1721 and 1722, Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia concluded a new Treaty at Albany with the Iroquois, renewing the Covenant Chain and agreeing to recognize the Blue Ridge as the demarcation between Virginia Colony and the Iroquois. But, as European settlers began to move beyond the Blue Ridge and into the Shenandoah Valley in the 1730s, the Iroquois objected. Virginia officials told them that the demarcation was to prevent the Iroquois from trespassing east of the Blue Ridge, but it did not prevent English from expanding west of them. The Iroquois were on the verge of going to war with the Virginia Colony, when in 1743, Governor Gooch paid them the sum of 100 pounds sterling for any settled land in the Valley that was claimed by the Iroquois. The following year at the Treaty of Lancaster, the Iroquois sold Virginia all their remaining claims on the Shenandoah Valley for 200 pounds in gold.[34]

    During the French and Indian War (North American part of the Seven Years' War), the Iroquois sided with the British against the French and their Algonquian allies, both traditional enemies of the Iroquois. The Iroquois hoped that aiding the British would also bring favors after the war. Few Iroquois warriors joined the campaign. In the Battle of Lake George, a group of Catholic Mohawk (from Kahnawake) and French ambushed a Mohawk-led British column.

    After the war, to protect their alliance, the British government issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, forbidding white settlements beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Colonists largely ignored the order and the British had insufficient soldiers to enforce it. The Iroquois agreed to adjust the line again at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1768), whereby they sold the British Crown all their remaining claim to the lands between the Ohio and Tennessee rivers.

    American Revolution

    Lithograph of the Mohawk war and political leader Thayendanegea or Joseph Brant

    During the American Revolution, the Iroquois first tried to stay neutral. Pressed to join one side or the other, the Tuscarora and the Oneida sided with the colonists, while the Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga and Cayuga remained loyal to Great Britain, with whom they had stronger relationships. It was the first political split among the Six Nations. Joseph Louis Cook offered his services to the United States and received a Congressional commission as a Lieutenant Colonel- the highest rank held by any Native American during the war.[35]

    The Mohawk war chief Joseph Brant, other war chiefs, and British allies conducted numerous operations against frontier settlements in the Mohawk Valley, including the Cherry Valley massacre, destroying many villages and crops, killing and capturing inhabitants. The Continentals retaliated and in 1779, George Washington ordered the Sullivan Campaign, led by Col. Daniel Brodhead and General John Sullivan, against the Iroquois nations to "not merely overrun, but destroy," the British-Indian alliance. They burned many Iroquois villages and stores throughout western New York; refugees moved north to Canada. By the end of the war, few houses and barns in the valley had survived the warfare.


    After the war, the ancient central fireplace of the League was reestablished at Buffalo Creek. Captain Joseph Brant and a group of Iroquois left New York to settle in the Province of Quebec (present-day Ontario). As a reward for their loyalty to the British Crown, they were given a large land grant on the Grand River. Brant's crossing of the river gave the original name to the area: Brant's ford. By 1847, European settlers began to settle nearby and named the village Brantford. The original Mohawk settlement was on the south edge of the present-day city at a location still favorable for launching and landing canoes. In the 1830s many of the Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca, Cayuga, and Tuscarora relocated into the Indian Territory, the Province of Upper Canada and Wisconsin.


    Melting pot

    Stone pipe (19th-century engraving)
    The Iroquois are a melting pot of other Native groups. League traditions allowed for the dead to be symbolically replaced through captives taken in "mourning wars," the blood feuds and vendettas that were an essential aspect of Iroquois culture.[36] As a way of expediting the mourning process, raids were conducted to take vengeance and seize captives. Captives were generally adopted directly by the grieving family to replace the member(s) who had been lost. This process not only allowed the Iroquois to maintain their own numbers, but also to disperse and assimilate their enemies. The adoption of conquered peoples, especially during the period of the Beaver Wars (1609-1701), meant that the Iroquois League was composed largely of naturalized members of other tribes. Cadwallader Colden wrote, "It has been a constant maxim with the Five Nations, to save children and young men of the people they conquer, to adopt them into their own Nation, and to educate them as their own children, without distinction; These young people soon forget their own country and nation and by this policy the Five Nations make up the losses which their nation suffers by the people they lose in war." By 1668, two-thirds of the Oneida village were assimilated Algonquians and Hurons. At Onondaga there were Native Americans of seven different nations and among the Seneca eleven.[37] They also adopted European captives, as did the Catholic Mohawk in settlements outside Montreal. This tradition of adoption and assimilation was common to native people of the northeast but was quite different from European settlers' notions of combat.


    The Iroquois are a mix of horticulturalists, farmers, fishers, gatherers and hunters, though their main diet traditionally has come from farming. The main crops they cultivated are corn, beans and squash, which were called the three sisters and are considered special gifts from the Creator. These crops are grown strategically. The cornstalks grow, the bean plants climb the stalks, and the squash grow beneath, inhibiting weeds and keeping the soil moist under the shade of their broad leaves. In this combination, the soil remained fertile for several decades. The food was stored during the winter, and it lasted for two to three years. When the soil eventually lost its fertility, the Haudenosaunee migrated.

    Gathering is the traditional job of the women and children. Wild roots, greens, berries and nuts were gathered in the summer. During spring, sap is tapped from the maple trees and boiled into maple syrup, and herbs are gathered for medicine.

    The Iroquois hunt mostly deer but also other game such as wild turkey and migratory birds. Muskrat and beaver during the winter. Fishing has also been a significant source of food because the Iroquois are located near the St. Lawerence River. They fished salmon, trout, bass, perch and whitefish until the St. Lawrence became too polluted by industry. In the spring the Iroquois netted, and in the winter fishing holes were made in the ice.[38]

    Traditional herbal medicine

    Plants traditionally used by the Iroquois include Agrimonia gryposepala, which was to treat diarrhea,[39] and interrupted fern, used for blood and venereal diseases and conditions.[40]

    Women in society

    The Iroquois are a Mother Clan system, which is gender equal. No one is entitled to 'own' land but Creator appointed the women to be the stewards of the land. The Clan Mothers appoint the leaders because they raised the children so know best who to appoint. By the same token, if a leader does not prove sound or becomes corrupt or does not listen to the people, the Clan Mothers have the power to strip him of his leadership.

    When Americans and Canadians of European descent began to study Iroquois customs in the 18th and 19th centuries, they learned that the people had a matrilineal system: women held property and hereditary leadership passed through their lines. They held dwellings, horses and farmed land, and a woman's property before marriage stayed in her possession without being mixed with that of her husband. They had separate roles but real power in the nations. The work of a woman's hands was hers to do with as she saw fit. At marriage, a young couple lived in the longhouse of the wife's family. A woman choosing to divorce a shiftless or otherwise unsatisfactory husband was able to ask him to leave the dwelling and take his possessions with him.[41]

    The children of the marriage belong to their mother's clan and gain their social status through hers. Her brothers are important teachers and mentors to the children, especially introducing boys to men's roles and societies. The clans are matrilineal, that is, clan ties are traced through the mother's line. If a couple separated, the woman traditionally kept the children.[42] The chief of a clan can be removed at any time by a council of the women elders of that clan. The chief's sister was responsible for nominating his successor.[42]

    Spiritual beliefs

    The Iroquois believe that the spirits change the seasons. Key festivals coincided with the major events of the agricultural calendar, including a harvest festival of thanksgiving. The Great Peacemaker (Deganawida) was their prophet. After the arrival of the Europeans, many Iroquois became Christians, among them Kateri Tekakwitha, a young woman of Mohawk-Algonquin parents. Traditional spirituality was revived to some extent in the second half of the 18th century by the teachings of the Haudenosaunee prophet Handsome Lake.[43]



    The first five nations listed below formed the original Five Nations (listed from west to east); the Tuscarora became the sixth nation in 1720.

    English word Iroquoian words Meaning 17th/18th century location
    Seneca Onondaga "People of the Great Hill" Seneca Lake and Genesee River
    Cayuga Guyohkohnyoh "People of the Great Swamp" Cayuga Lake
    Onondaga Onöñda'gega' "People of the Hills" Onondaga Lake
    Oneida Onayotekaono "People of the Standing Stone" Oneida Lake
    Mohawk Kanien'kehá:ka "People of the Great Flint" Mohawk River
    Tuscarora1 Ska-Ruh-Reh "Hemp Gatherers"[44] From North Carolina2
    1 Not one of the original Five Nations; joined 1720. 2 Settled between Oneidas and Onondagas.

    Iroquois Five Nations c. 1650
    Iroquois Five Nations c. 1650
    Iroquois Six Nations c. 1720
    Iroquois Six Nations c. 1720









    Within each of the six nations, people are divided into a number of matrilineal clans. The number of clans varies by nation, currently from three to eight, with a total of nine different clan names.

    Current clans
    Seneca Cayuga Onondaga Tuscarora Oneida Mohawk
    Wolf (Hoñnat‘haiioñ'n‘) Wolf Wolf (Hothahi:ionih) Wolf (Θkwarì•nę) Wolf (Thayú:ni) Wolf (Okwáho)
    Bear (Hodidjioiñi’'g’) Bear Bear (Ohgwai:ih) Bear (Uhčíhręˀ) Bear (Ohkwá:li) Bear (Ohkwá:ri)
    Turtle (Hadiniǎ‘'děñ‘) Turtle Turtle (Hanya'dëñh) Turtle (Ráˀkwihs) Turtle (A'no:wál) Turtle (A'nó:wara)
    Sandpiper (Hodi'ne`si'iu') Sandpiper Snipe (Odihnesi:ioh) Sandpiper (Tawístawis)
    Deer (Hadinioñ'gwaiiu') Deer (De'odijinaindönda') Deer (Kà?wí:ñu)
    Beaver (Hodigěn’'gegā’) Beaver (Hona'gaia'gih) Beaver (Rakinęhá•ha•ˀ)
    Heron Heron Heron
    Hawk Hawk (Degaiadahkwa')
    Eel (Ohgönde:na') Eel (Akunęhukwatíha•ˀ)


    Mohawk leader John Smoke Johnson (right) with John Tutela and Young Warner, two other Six Nations War of 1812 veterans. Photo: July 1882
    The Grand Council of the Iroquois League is an assembly of 56 Hoyenah (chiefs) or Sachems, a number that has never changed.

    Today, the seats on the Council are distributed among the Six Nations as follows:
    • 14 Onondaga
    • 10 Cayuga
    •   9 Oneida
    •   9 Mohawk
    •   8 Seneca
    •   6 Tuscarora
    When anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan studied the Grand Council in the 19th century, he interpreted it as a central government. This interpretation became influential, but Richter argues that while the Grand Council served an important ceremonial role, it was not a government in the sense that Morgan thought.[4][5][6] According to this view, Iroquois political and diplomatic decisions are made on the local level, and are based on assessments of community consensus. A central government that develops policy and implements it for the people at large is not the Iroquois model of government.

    Unanimity in public acts was essential to the Council. In 1855, Minnie Myrtle observed that no Iroquois treaty was binding unless it was ratified by 75% of the male voters and 75% of the mothers of the nation.[47] In revising Council laws and customs, a consent of two-thirds of the mothers was required.[47] The need for a double supermajority to make major changes made the Confederacy a de facto consensus government.[48]
    The women traditionlly held real power, particularly the power to veto treaties or declarations of war.[47] The members of the Grand Council of Sachems were chosen by the mothers of each clan. If any leader failed to comply with the wishes of the women of his tribe and the Great Law of Peace, the mother of his clan could demote him, a process called "knocking off the horns". The deer antlers, emblem of leadership, were removed from his headgear, thus returning him to private life.[47][49]

    Councils of the mothers of each tribe were held separately from the men's councils. The women used men as runners to send word of their decisions to concerned parties, or a woman could appear at the men's council as an orator, presenting the view of the women. Women often took the initiative in suggesting legislation.[47]

    Wampum belts

    Haudenosaunee flag created in the 1980s. It is based on the "Hiawatha Wampum Belt ... created from purple and white wampum beads centuries ago to symbolize the union forged when the former enemies buried their weapons under the Great Tree of Peace."[50] It represents the original five nations that were united by the Peacemaker and Hiawatha. The tree symbol in the center represents an Eastern White Pine, the needles of which are clustered in groups of five.[51]
    The term "wampum" refers to beads made from purple and white mollusk shells. Species used to make wampum include the highly prized quahog clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) which produces the famous purple colored beads. For white colored beads the shells from the channeled whelk (Busycon canaliculatum), knobbed whelk (Busycon carica), lightning whelk (Busycon sinistrum), and snow whelk (Busycon Laeostomum) are used.[52]

    Wampum was primarily used to make wampum belts by the Iroquois. Wampum belts are used to signify the importance of a specific message being presented. Treaty making often involved wampum belts to signify the importance of the treaty. A famous example is "The Two Row Wampum" or "Guesuenta" meaning 'it brightens our minds' which was originally presented to the Dutch settlers, and then French, representing a canoe and a sailboat, moving side by side along the river of life, not interfering with the others course. All non-Native settlers are, by associations, members of this treaty.

    "The Covenent Belt" which was presented to the Iroquois at the signing of the Canandaigua Treaty. The belt has a design of thirteen human figures representing symbolically the Thirteen Colonies of the United States. The house and the two figures directly next to the house represent the Iroquois people and the symbolic longhouse. The figure on the left of the house represent the Seneca Nation who are the symbolic guardians of the western door (western edge of Iroquois territory) and the figure to the right of the house represents the Mohawk who are the keepers of the eastern door (eastern edge of Iroquois territory).[52]

    The Hiawatha belt is the national belt of the Iroquois and is represented in the Iroquois Confederacy flag. The belt has four squares and a tree in the middle which representing the original five nations of the Iroquois. Going from left to right the squares represent the Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida and Mohawk. The Onondaga are represented by an eastern white pine which represents the Tree of Peace. Traditionally the Onondaga are the peace keepers of the confederacy. The placement of the nations on the belt represents the actually geographical distribution of the six nations over their shared territory, with the Seneca in the far west and the Mohawk in the far east of Iroquois territory.[52]

    Influence on the United States

    Historians in the 20th century have suggested the Iroquois system of government influenced the development of the Articles of Confederation or United States Constitution. Consensus has not been reached on how influential the Iroquois model was to the development of the United States' documents.[53] The influence thesis has been discussed by historians such as Donald Grinde[54] and Bruce Johansen.[55] In 1988, the United States Congress passed a resolution to recognize the influence of the Iroquois League upon the Constitution and Bill of Rights.[56] In 1987, Cornell University held a conference on the link between the Iroquois' government and the U.S. Constitution.[57]

    Scholars, such as Jack N. Rakove and Elizabeth Tooker, challenge the thesis. Stanford University historian Rakove writes, "The voluminous records we have for the constitutional debates of the late 1780s contain no significant references to the Iroquois" and notes that there are ample European precedents to the democratic institutions of the United States.[58] Historian Francis Jennings noted that supporters of the thesis frequently cite the following statement by Benjamin Franklin: "It would be a very strange thing, if six Nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a Scheme for such a Union … and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a Dozen English Colonies," but he disagrees that it establishes influence. Rather, he thinks Franklin was promoting union against the "ignorant savages" and called the idea "absurd".[59]

    The anthropologist Dean Snow stated that though Franklin's Albany Plan may have drawn inspiration from the Iroquois League, there is little evidence that either the Plan or the Constitution drew substantially from this source. He argues that "...such claims muddle and denigrate the subtle and remarkable features of Iroquois government. The two forms of government are distinctive and individually remarkable in conception."[60]

    Tooker, a Temple University professor of anthropology and an authority on the culture and history of the Northern Iroquois, believes the "influence" thesis is myth rather than fact. She does not think that the Iroquois League was a democratic culture; such a conclusion is not supported within historical literature. The relationship between the Iroquois League and the Constitution is based on a portion of a letter written by Benjamin Franklin and a speech by the Iroquois chief Canasatego in 1744. Tooker concluded that the documents cited indicate that groups of Iroquois and white settlers realized the advantages of a confederation, but she thinks there is little evidence to support the idea that 18th century colonists were knowledgeable regarding the Iroquois system of governance.[61]

    Historic evidence suggests that chiefs of different tribes were permitted representation in the Iroquois League council, and the leadership positions were hereditary. The council did not practice representative government and had no elections. Deceased chiefs’s successors were selected by the most senior woman within the hereditary lineage in consultation with other women in the clan. Decision making occurred through lengthy discussion and decisions were unanimous, with topics discussed being introduced by a single tribe.[61]

    Tooker concludes, "...there is virtually no evidence that the framers borrowed from the Iroquois." She thinks the myth resulted from exaggerations and misunderstandings of a claim made by the Iroquois linguist and ethnographer J.N.B. Hewitt after his death in 1937.[61]

    International relations

    The Haudenosaunee government has issued passports since 1923, when Haudenosaunee authorities issued a passport to Cayuga statesman Deskaheh (Levi General) to travel to the League of Nations headquarters.[62]
    More recently, passports have been issued since 1997.[63] Before 2001 these were accepted by various nations for international travel, but with increased security concerns across the world since the September 11 attacks this is no longer the case.[64] The Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team was allowed by the U.S. to travel on their own passports to an international lacrosse tournament in England after the personal intervention of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 14, 2010, after previously being refused. But, the British government refused to recognize the Iroquois passports and denied the team members entry into the United Kingdom.[65][66]

    The Onondaga Nation spent $1.5 million on a subsequent upgrade to passports designed to meet 21st century international security requirements.[67]

    The Iroquois Nationals are considered a country-level organization in international lacrosse competition. It is the only international sport in which the Iroquois tribes field a team.

    The Grand Council of the Iroquois Confederacy declared war on Germany in 1917 during World War I and again in 1942 in World War II.[68]


    1. ^ Haudenosaunee is in English, Akunęhsyę̀niˀ in Tuscarora (Rudes, B., Tuscarora English Dictionary, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), and Rotinonsionni in Mohawk.
    2. ^ Encyclopedia of the Haudenosaunee pg.135. Greenwood Publishing Group. 2000. ISBN 978-0-313-30880-2. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
    3. ^ "First Nations Culture Areas Index". the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
    4. ^ Richter, "Ordeals of the Longhouse", in Richter and Merrill, eds., Beyond the Covenant Chain, 11–12.
    5. ^ Fenton, Great Law and the Longhouse, 4–5.
    6. ^ Shannon, Iroquois Diplomacy, 72–73.
    7. ^ Peck, William (1908). History of Rochester and Monroe county, New York. p. 12. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
    8. ^ Dean R. Snow (1994). The Iroquois. Blackwell Publishers, Ltd. ISBN 978-1-55786-938-8. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
    9. ^ Jennings, p. 43.
    10. Louis F. Burns, "Osage" Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
    11. ^ Charles Augustus Hanna, The Wilderness Trail, New York: Putnam Brothers, 1911, p. 97.
    12. ^ Fenton, Great Law and the Longhouse, 69.
    13. ^ Shannon, Iroquois Diplomacy, 25.
    14. ^ Johansen, Bruce (1995). "Dating the Iroquois Confederacy". Akwesasne Notes New Series 1 (3): 62–63. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
    15. ^ Johansen, Bruce Elliott; Mann, Barbara Alice (2000). "Ganondagan". Encyclopedia of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-313-30880-2. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
    16. ^ Charles C. Mann (2006), 1491: new revelations of the Americas before Columbus, Random House Digital, p. 333, ISBN 978-1-4000-3205-1
    17. ^ Snow, The Iroquois, 231.
    18. ^ "The History of Onondage'ga' ", Onondaga Nation School.
    19. ^ Muir, Diana, Reflections in Bullough's Pond, University Press of New England.
    20. ^ Bernard G. Hoffman, 1955, Souriquois, Etechemin, and Kwedech - - A Lost Chapter in American Ethnography.
    21. ^ James F. Pendergast, 1991, The Massawomeck.
    22. ^ Reville, F. Douglas. The History of the County of Brant, p. 20.
    23. ^ "''Catholic Encyclopedia'', "The Hurons"". Newadvent.org. 1910-06-01. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
    24. ^ Steele, Ian K. Warpaths: Invasions of North America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. 64
    25. ^ Richter, D. The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization. Chapel-Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992.
    26. ^ "American Colonies," Alan Taylor, Penguin Books 2001
    27. ^ Brandão, José A. Your Fyre Shall Burn No More: Iroquois policy towards New France and its Allies to 1701. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997. 19-20.
    28. ^ Trigger, Bruce G. The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660 (McGill-Queen's University Press; Kingston and Montreal, 1987. 751
    29. ^ Francis Parkman
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    31. ^ Jennings, p. 160.
    32. ^ Jennings, p. 111.
    33. ^ "The Four Indian Kings". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
    34. ^ Joseph Solomon Walton, 1900, Conrad Weiser and the Indian Policy of Colonial Pennsylvania, pp. 76-121.
    35. ^ Oneida Nation of New York Conveyance of Lands Into Trust pp. 3-159, Department of Indian Affairs.
    36. ^ Richter, Daniel K. The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization. Chapel-Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992. 32
    37. ^ Jennings, p. 95.
    38. ^ Bial, Raymond (1999). Lifeways: The Iroquois. New York: Benchmark Books. ISBN 0-7614-0802-9.
    39. ^ James W. Herrick and Dean R. Snow (1997). Iroquois Medical Botany.
    40. Syracuse University Press. p. 161. ISBN 0-8156-0464-5.
    41. ^ Univ. Mich.-Dearborn College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters: Native American Ethnobotany: Osmunda species (scroll for O. claytoniana) . accessed 12.1.2011
    42. ^ Benokraitis, Nijole V. (2011) Marriages & Families, 7th Edition. Pearson Education Inc., New Jersey, p. 58-59.
    43. ^ Wagner, Sally Roesch (1999). "Iroquois Women Inspire 19th Century Feminists". National NOW Times. National Organization for Women. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
    44. ^ Wallace, Anthony (April 12, 1972). Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. Vintage. ISBN 978-0-394-71699-2.
    45. ^ "Iroquois". Catholic Encyclopedia. 1910-10-01. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
    46. ^ "American Indian and Alaska Native Population by Tribal Grouping, 2010". Census Bureau.
    47. ^ "Canadian Iroqois population 1995". Ratical.org. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
    48. ^ Wagner, Sally Roesch (1993). "The Iroquois Influence on Women's Rights". In Sakolsky, Ron; Koehnline, James. Gone To Croatan: Origins of North American Dropout Culture. Brooklyn, New York: Autonomedia. pp. 240–247. ISBN 0-936756-92-6. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
    49. ^http://www.unifr.ch/federalism/assets/file/IRCC/Morden%20-%20Treaty%20Federalism%20in%20Canada.pdf
    50. ^ Eldridge, Larry D. (1997). Women and freedom in early America. New York: New York University Press. pp. 15. ISBN 0-8147-2198-2.
    51. ^ "From beads to banner". Indian Country Today. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
    52. ^ "Haudenosaunee Flag". First Americans. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
    53. ^ "Wampum & Wampum Belts". Ganondagan. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
    54. ^ Armstrong, VI (1971). I Have Spoken: American History Through the Voices of the Indians. Swallow Press. p. 14. ISBN 0-8040-0530-3.
    55. ^ Grindle, D (1992). "Iroquois political theory and the roots of American democracy". In Lyons O. Exiled in the land of the free: democracy, Indian nations, and the U. S. Constitution. Santa Fe, N.M: Clear Light Publishers. ISBN 0-940666-15-4.
    56. ^ Johansen, Bruce E.; Grinde, Donald A. (1991). Exemplar of liberty: native America and the evolution of democracy. [Los Angeles]: American Indian Studies Center, University of California, Los Angeles. ISBN 0-935626-35-2.
    57. ^ "H. Con. Res. 331, October 21, 1988". United States Senate. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
    58. ^ "The Tree of Peace The Great Law of Peace: New World Roots of American Democracy by David Yarrow© September 1987". Retrieved 2012-05-20.
    59. ^ Rakove, J (2005-11-07). "Did the Founding Fathers Really Get Many of Their Ideas of Liberty from the Iroquois?". George Mason University. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
    60. ^ Jennings F (1988). Empire of fortune: crown, colonies, and tribes in the Seven Years War in America. New York: Norton. pp. 259n15. ISBN 0-393-30640-2.
    61. ^ Snow DR (1996). The Iroquois (The Peoples of America Series). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers. pp. 154. ISBN 1-55786-938-3.
    62. ^ Tooker E (1990). "The United States Constitution and the Iroquois League". In Clifton JA. The Invented Indian: Cultural Fictions and Government Policies. New Brunswick, N.J., U.S.A: Transaction Publishers. pp. 107–128. ISBN 1-56000-745-1.
    63. ^ "Indian Country Today Media Network.com". Indiancountrytoday.com. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
    64. ^ The Economist, July 24, 2010.
    65. ^ MacAskill, Ewen (2010-07-15). "Iroquois lacrosse team cleared to travel by America – then blocked by Britain". The Guardian.
    66. ^ Samantha, Gross (July 14, 2010). "UK won't let Iroquois lacrosse team go to tourney". Yahoo News. Associated Press.
    67. ^ Kaplan, Thomas (July 16, 2010). "Iroquois Defeated by Passport Dispute". New York Times.
    68. ^ "Iroquois spend $1.5 million to upgrade passports : News". CNYCentral.com. 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
    69. ^ Morgan, Thomas D. "Native Americans in World War II." Excerpted from Army History: The Professional Bulletin of Army History, No. 35 (Fall 1995), pp. 22-27. Retrieved 17 April 2013.

    Further reading

    • Carpenter, Roger M. The Renewed, the Destroyed, and the Remade: The Three Thought Worlds of the Iroquois and the Huron, 1609-1650 (2004)
    • Fenton, William N. The Great Law and the Longhouse: A Political History of the Iroquois Confederacy. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8061-3003-2.
    • Jennings, Francis. The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire: the Covenant Chain Confederation of Indian Tribes with English Colonies from Its Beginnings to the Lancaster Treaty of 1744. New York: Norton, 1984. ISBN 0-393-01719-2.
    • Graymont, Barbara (2005). The Iroquois. Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 0-7910-7993-7
    • Hauptman, Laurence M. Seven Generations of Iroquois Leadership: The Six Nations Since 1800 (Iroquois and Their Neighbors) (2008) excerpt and text search
    • Jennings, Francis, ed. The History and Culture of Iroquois Diplomacy: An Interdisciplinary Guide to the Treaties of the Six Nations and Their League, Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1985. ISBN 0-8156-2650-9.
    • Jones, Eric E. "Population History of the Onondaga and Oneida Iroquois, A.D. 1500-1700," American Antiquity, (Apr 2010) 75#2 pp 387–407
    • Parmenter, Jon. The Edge of the Woods: Iroquoia, 1534-1701 (2010)
    • Preston, David L. The Texture of Contact: European and Indian Settler Communities on the Frontiers of Iroquoia, 1667-1783 (The Iroquoians and Their World) (2009) excerpt and text search
    • Richter, Daniel K. The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8078-2060-1.
    • Richter, Daniel K., and James H. Merrell, eds. Beyond the Covenant Chain: the Iroquois and Their Neighbors in Indian North America, 1600–1800. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-271-02299-X.
    • Santiemma, Adriano. "'Towards a Monocultural Future through a Multicultural Perspective. The Iroquois Case", in: Canadian Issues, XXI, 1999.
    • Shannon, Timothy J. Iroquois Diplomacy on the Early American Frontier. New York: Viking, 2008. ISBN 978-0-670-01897-0.
    • Snow, Dean R. The Iroquois. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1994. ISBN 1-55786-225-7.
    • Mann, Charles C. 1491 New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 978-1-4000-4006-3.
    • Tooker, Elisabeth, ed. An Iroquois Source Book. 3 volumes. New York: Garland, 1985–1986. ISBN 0-8240-5877-1.


     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Three: Life in Christ

    Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


    Article 3:2   Social Justice - Equality and Differences Among Men

    1699 Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man (chapter one). This life is made up of divine charity and human solidarity (chapter two). It is graciously offered as salvation (chapter three).

    1877 The vocation of humanity is to show forth the image of God and to be transformed into the image of the Father's only Son. This vocation takes a personal form since each of us is called to enter into the divine beatitude; it also concerns the human community as a whole.

    Article 3
    1928 Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.

    II. Equality and Differences Among Men
    1934 Created in the image of the one God and equally endowed with rational souls, all men have the same nature and the same origin. Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, all are called to participate in the same divine beatitude: all therefore enjoy an equal dignity.
    1935 The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it:
    Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.GS 29 # 2
    1936 On coming into the world, man is not equipped with everything he needs for developing his bodily and spiritual life. He needs others. Differences appear tied to age, physical abilities, intellectual or moral aptitudes, the benefits derived from social commerce, and the distribution of wealth.GS 29 # 2 The "talents" are not distributed equally.Mt 25:14-30; Lk 19:27
    1937 These differences belong to God's plan, who wills that each receive what he needs from others, and that those endowed with particular "talents" share the benefits with those who need them. These differences encourage and often oblige persons to practice generosity, kindness, and sharing of goods; they foster the mutual enrichment of cultures:
    I distribute the virtues quite diversely; I do not give all of them to each person, but some to one, some to others.... I shall give principally charity to one; justice to another; humility to this one, a living faith to that one.... and so I have given many gifts and graces, both spiritual and temporal, with such diversity that I have not given everything to one single person, so that you may be constrained to practice charity towards one another.... I have willed that one should need another and that all should be my ministers in distributing the graces and gifts they have received from me.St. Catherine of Siena, Dial. I, 7

    1938 There exist also sinful inequalities that affect millions of men and women. These are in open contradiction of the Gospel:
    Their equal dignity as persons demands that we strive for fairer and more humane conditions. Excessive economic and social disparity between individuals and peoples of the one human race is a source of scandal and militates against social justice, equity, human dignity, as well as social and international peace.CS 29 # 3