A Play: Lily of the Mohawks: Kateri Tekakwitha


Part 1

Reader 1 May I share my story of God’s goodness? I am Tekakwitha, a Mohawk Indian. I was born more than 300 years ago in a valley that is now part of New York State.
Reader 2 My mother was a Christian Algonquin Indian. My father was a Mohawk. I don’t remember my family well because my parents and brother died of smallpox when I was only four. I had smallpox too. It left my eyes weak and my face scarred.
Reader 3 Anastasia, my mother’s friend, cared for me at first. Then my uncle, a Mohawk chief, took me as his daughter. Anastasia told me stories of the Christian God. Already the Great Spirit began to call me to follow him.
Reader 4 As the chief’s daughter, I helped serve the missionaries who came to our valley to tell our people about God. I listened in the longhouse to their stories about God and the Christian faith. As they talked, I came to love the Christian God and felt that I must learn more about him.
Reader 5 My uncle wanted me to marry a young man. I
refused because I knew that the Great Spirit was the only one whom I could always love. This made my uncle angry. He did not want me to learn more about the Christian God.
Reader 6 I asked a missionary priest to tell me more about Christianity. My heart was very happy as he told me about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I knew I belonged to the God of the Christians. When the priest told me about our Blessed Mother, I felt that at last I would have a mother to care for me.
Reader 7 I was ready now to follow Jesus. I wanted to do what the Great Spirit was telling me in my heart.

Part 2

Priest Tekakwitha, being a Christian will be hard for you. Your people do not understand Christian ways. Are you sure you want to be baptized?
Kateri Oh yes, Father, I will do whatever the Great Spirit asks!
Narrator Tekakwitha was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1676. She received the Christian name Kateri. Her people made it hard for her to live according to her new faith. They did not like the black-robed missionaries. They were also angry because Kateri would not marry and refused to work on Sundays.
Aunt Tekakwitha, you should be working in the fields.
Kateri I will not work on God’s day, but I will work longer every other day.
Aunt If you won’t work, you won’t eat!
Narrator Children made fun of Kateri and threw stones at her.
Children Look at the lazy one. Hit her again!
Narrator Kateri was frightened. She talked with the priest.
Kateri Why must the children throw stones at me? I try my best. I have terrible headaches from working in the sun when I have eaten nothing. I want only to serve God. Please, Father, tell me what to do.
Priest Kateri, the time has come for you to leave your people and go to Canada. There you will be with other Christians. You will be able to pray and live as the Great Spirit asks. However, the journey will be long. We will ask the Great Spirit to send someone to take you.
Narrator Kateri waited. Finally some Christians visited the Mohawk Valley. One was called Hot Ashes. Kateri’s uncle was not home, so Kateri was able to get away. She said goodbye to the priest.
Kateri Father, pray for my people. They do not understand. Pray that they will love and serve the Great Spirit.
Narrator When Kateri’s uncle returned and found her gone, he was angry. He tried to follow Kateri and Hot Ashes. God, however, protected them. They finally arrived safely in Canada.

Part 3

Reader 1 I am the priest who welcomed Kateri to Canada. The note she brought to me called her a “treasure” and asked me to guide her carefully. It didn’t take long for us to see how Kateri loved God. I gave her First Communion on Christmas Day. From then on, she lived for Jesus in a new way. Her greatest joy was to celebrate the Eucharist and be with him.
Reader 2 Kateri took part in Mass every morning and visited Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament often. She cared for those who were sick or old. She taught the children. Everyone knew that Kateri was very holy.
Reader 3 Her mother’s friend Anastasia and others tried to persuade Kateri to marry. Kateri refused and promised Jesus to belong to him alone. She knew her Mother Mary would take care of her.
Reader 4 Kateri had endured a hard life in the Mohawk Valley. She was not strong and so became sick easily. She always had a bad headache and could eat very little. She
knew she would soon go to meet the Great Spirit.
Reader 5 While Kateri waited to go home to God, her friends came to see her. She told them to live for Jesus and do everything for him with love. She promised to
pray for them in heaven.
Reader 6 Kateri’s last words were “Jesus, I love you.” We knew Kateri was in heaven. Even her body was touched by God’s glory. Her face, which had been so marked by smallpox, was now smooth and clear. The scars were gone!
Reader 7 Kateri was at peace with the God she loved so much. The Holy Spirit had made a weak, young girl into a strong and faithful follower of Jesus.

Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio