July 14


Saint of the day:
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Patron Saint of the environment and ecology

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha's Story

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656, in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. Her mother was an Algonquin, who was captured by the Mohawks and who took a Mohawk chief for her husband.

She contracted smallpox as a four-year-old child which scarred her skin. The scars were a source of humiliation in her youth. She was commonly seen wearing a blanket to hide her face. Worse, her entire family died during the outbreak. Kateri Tekakwitha was subsequently raised by her uncle, who was the chief of a Mohawk clan.

Kateri was known as a skilled worker, who was diligent and patient. However, she refused to marry. When her adoptive parents proposed a suitor to her, she refused to entertain the proposal. They punished her by giving her more work to do, but she did not give in. Instead, she remained quiet and diligent. Eventually they were forced to relent and accept that she had no interest in marriage.

At age 19, Kateri Tekakwitha converted to Catholicism, taking a vow of chastity and pledging to marry only Jesus Christ. Her decision was very unpopular with her adoptive parents and their neighbors. Some of her neighbors started rumors of sorcery. To avoid persecution, she traveled to a Christian native community south of Montreal.

According to legend, Kateri was very devout and would put thorns on her sleeping mat. She often prayed for the conversion of her fellow Mohawks. According to the Jesuit missionaries that served the community where Kateri lived, she often fasted and when she would eat, she would taint her food to diminish its flavor. On at least one occasion, she burned herself. Such self-mortification was common among the Mohawk.

Kateri was very devout and was known for her steadfast devotion. She was also very sickly. Her practices of self-mortification and denial may not have helped her health. Sadly, just five years after her conversion to Catholicism, she became ill and passed away at age 24, on April 17, 1680.

Her name, Kateri, is the Mohawk form of Catherine, which she took from St. Catherine of Siena.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 21, 2012. She is the patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile and Native Americans.









St Kateri Tekakwitha

(d. 1680, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada) (Relics: Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada)


St Francis Xavier Mission

1 Church Street

J0L 1B0, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada

*The remains of St Kateri Tekakwitha rest within this church.




Seared Venison with Blueberry Sauce

This recipe utilizes the combination of fresh blueberries and a spicy rub to really bring out the fantastic flavors of  venison. Make sure to use the tenderloin and do not skimp on the blueberries.

Spice Rubbed Venison with Blueberry Sauce

  • 2-3 lb venison tenderloin

  • 4 tbsp butter

For rub

  • 1/8 tsp black peppercorns

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1.2 tsp mustard seed

  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes


  1. In a spice grinder process everything to a powder. Rub mixture into all sides of meat and let stand 30 minutes. In a large oven safe pan melt 2 tbsp butter over medium high heat and sear meat on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Place in an oven at 400 degrees and roast until rare in the center, about 5 minutes more.

For sauce

  • 1 cup blueberries

  • 1/2 cup marsala

  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme


  1. Once meat is finished in oven remove and tent with foil to keep warm. Melt 2 tbsp butter in pan and saute onion over medium low heat, scraping up any bits of meat stuck to pan, until deep golden brown. Add blue berries and mash. Add marsala and thyme, deglaze pan, and cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Slice tenderloin against the grain and serve sauce over top.

Mohawk corn soup or The Three Sisters

  • 4 pork hocks (or another meat with bones)

  • 8 cups water (approximative)

  • 2 cups hominy (frozen or from a tin)

  • 1 tin red beans

  • Selection of vegetable to taste: squash, carrots, cabbage, turnips, sweet potato

  • Salt and pepper


  1. The day before, prepare the broth. Put the meat and bones at the bottom of a large pot and fill it with water leaving room to add vegetables later. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours on low heat. Let cool, then refrigerate. The following day, remove the fat from the surface of the broth, (or keep a little bit for taste).

  2. Heat the broth and add the remaining ingredients, vegetables, beans and hominy. Add salt and pepper. Let simmer for another hour until the vegetables are cooked and the aroma fills the room. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Mohawk cornbread

  • 2 cups hominy (passed through the blender)

  • 2 cups oatmeal (instant)

  • 2 cups pre-cooked white corn meal

  • 1 cup red beans

  • salt and pepper

  • boiling water


  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Add boiling water, slowly, while stirring, until the dough is thick enough to mold into balls the size of oranges. Bring a potful of water to a boil. Place the balls into the water, and cook for approximately 20 minute on medium heat.

  2. Serve with main course. The next day, leftover breads can be reheated and served with butter, jam or other spreads.

Burnt-flour tea gravy

  • Drippings

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of white flour

  • Black tea (preferably day old)

  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Save the drippings from the steaks or other meat. Remove the meat from the pan, and the add the flour to the drippings. On medium heat, stir constantly with a whisk, until you obtain a uniform paste. Slowly add the tea while stirring until you get the quantity and texture desired.