Sunday, May 29, 2016

Review: Lily of the Mohawks: the Story of St. Kateri

Lily of the Mohawks: the Story of St. Kateri by Emily Cavins, foreward by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, July 19, 2013. 134 pages. Published by Servant Books. Source: Borrowed from my mom.
Even before Kateri Tekakwitha’s canonization on October 21, 2012, many had been inspired by the story of the young Native American mystic who lived in the Mohawk Valley during the seventeenth century. With Emily Cavins's skill for weaving together historical facts and a compelling story, readers will discover Kateri’s path to sainthood against the backdrop of her life as a Native American in New York. These pages will reveal:
  • What led to Kateri’s desire to become a Christian
  • Her piety and self-denial in the face of persecution and illness
  • Her impact on the Catholic Mohawk community
  • The long road to sainthood, including two miracles attributed to Kateri
More than just a compelling story of Kateri’s short life, readers will also learn how to avail themselves of Kateri’s intercession, why Kateri has become known as the patron saint of the environment, and of her connection to St. Francis of Assisi.
First Sentence:
In the short time span of Kateri Tekakwitha's life, the power of several empires shifted: the Iroquois, the Dutch, the British, the French, and the Kingdom of God all collided.    

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is one saint that I have been meaning to learn more about. From the first moment I heard of her, her story was one that caught my attention. As much as I love a lot of the saints from the old world, it is also nice to learn about those from North America as one enjoys knowing ones from one's own continent.

  • Not only did I enjoy learning more about St. Kateri, I also enjoyed learning more about the Iroquois tribe as well as the dynamics of Native American tribes. While I know that this book barely scrapes the surface of the Native American culture and history, since the book was predominately about St. Kateri, it did shed some light on certain historical aspects that one does not read about in school.
  • When it comes to biographical writings, I like when the author starts their story prior to the birth of who they're writing about. Because I find the backstory really helps set the tone for the book and bringing about how they got to that point, especially stories on saints. So, yes, it was interesting to see her story begin with her parents. 

  • One of the things that drew me to St. Kateri was her stillness and how she never complained about the losses she faced, nor the health problems that she was left with after surviving smallpox. She had been through so much, lose of her parents, eyesight affected by smallpox, and some mistreatment by her clan, and yet she never acted like, "Woe is me," you know. 
  • Since I don't know all that much about Native American culture, I cannot vouch for the accuracy within the book. Though I did really enjoy the writing of this book and St. Kateri's story. I thought the author did a great job with making her book readable; her writing was quick and engaging.
Final Verdict: Lily of the Mohawks: the Story of St. Kateri- A Fascinating look at the first, Catholic, Native American saint.

Lily of the Mohawks: the Story of St. Kateri earns
A copy of this book was borrowed from my mom. All thoughts are my own.


  1. Just read this amazing new YA fiction on Ganesha - Part 1 of the Temple Wars series - I think everyone should check it out! Temple Wars

  2. Thanks for this excellent review. I've heard of Kateri Tekawitha, but was not aware of any books about her. As a Catholic, I appreciate books like this. Young people today are inundated with books about witches, demons, vampires, werewolves, sorcery, and all manner of satanic influences. This is a breath of fresh air.

    1. Mike, thank you! St. Kateri is one of my favorite least since I first heard about her. There's actually a few books about her; they all have pretty similar titles to this one (Lily of the Mohawks).

      Thanks so much for stopping by. =)


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