Lily of the Mohawks

The poem, “Lily of the Mohawks,” paints a picture of the story of the Iroquois virgin who gave her life after her conversion to her one and only Spouse, Jesus Christ, to live happily forever in His Eternal Kingdom.

Daughter of the Turtle Clan,
Seed of martyr’s blood,
Embryo of infant land,
Bloom from sacred bud.

Cradled by a heavy cross,
Alone without her kin,
Heart-pierced with bitter loss,
Left dark by vision dim.

Uprooted from her mother earth,
Transplant to pagan soil,
Marred face could not hide her mirth,
As nimble hands did toil.

Blind to worldly ways around,
In darkness saw a light,
Found peace in war-drum serpent sound,
Blackrobes brought new sight.

Rawennio..God of love,
Echoed midst the blight,
Cleansed by water and His dove,
Her soul did soar full height.

A cross weighted with abuse,
Lightened by an Angel sigh,
Scorned, by her own accused,
Reborn to never die!

The clandestine moon cast its spell,
As shadows stole away,
Kateri bid a sad farewell,
To see a better day!

Through virgin path the trio fled,
By foot and then canoe,
To a distant field where lambs did tread,
Happiness shone anew!

Prayerfully sang her rosary bead,
To spread God’s love among,
From this saintly flower seed,
A pristine lily sprung!

On Winter hunt, Kateri forlorn,
No Holy Mass at all,
Within her soul, a prayer was born,
Her angel she would call.

Her Guardian angel she did send,
To the “Praying Village” Mass,
While she to all her chores did tend,
Return he with graces fast!

Barefoot babe of winter wood,
To the cross of bark did trod,
Enduring pain as great she could,
Adoring Son of God.

Radiant soul… God’s bride,
Lost herself to find,
Him… wherein all life abide,
To love and serve mankind.

Just before her soul took flight,
She picked a sweet bouquet,
Of thoughts for you…so pure and white,
“From Heaven, I will pray!”

Her rosy lips now ashen hue,
As the Angel came to call,
Sighed, “Jesus, Mary, I love You,”
A song sublime for all!”

Soon this fragile flower fell,
Midway in Passiontide,
A glow transfiguring her face did tell,
That Christ was at her side!

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha,
Precious gift to man,
Oh, “Lily of the Mohawks,”
Breathe fragrance on our land!

Marlene McCauley, Phoenix, Arizona, 1976. Revised for the Canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, by Pope Benedict XVI, October 21, 2012; Rome, Italy