The Rosary of Kateri Tekakwitha, Native American Saint

12 Jul


On October 21, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonized Kateri Tekakwitha making her the first Native American to become a saint. Her mother belonged to the Algonquin tribe and her father was a member of the Mohawk tribe. Kateri was born in 1656 in the area of upstate New York. She was baptized when she was twenty years old and kept her faith through times of turmoil. Her feast day is celebrated each year on July 14.

The rosary honoring Kateri Tekakwitha has the traditional five decades but each decade has beads of a different color. The first four decades, beads of red, black, yellow, and white, represent the four races of man. The fifth decade has beads of blue to honor Mary, the Blessed Virgin. Kateri8

Because of her respect for the sacredness of nature, Kateri Tekakwitha is known as the patron saint of the ecology. Her rosary has a simple log crucifix, the type also favored by Pope John Paul II. The center medal of her rosary shows a dove, representing nature, and blocks of color representing the four races of man.

The reverse of the rosary center medal has an image of Kateri Tekakwitha.


The Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine is located in Fonda, New York.

The above photograph shows the altar at the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine in the state of New York.

Visitors to the national shrine drape their rosaries around a statue of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.

To learn more about unique rosaries, crucifixes, crosses, and center medals, read The Rosary Collector’s Guide by Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner. Published by Schiffer Publishing, this 152 page, hardcover reference book is available on, Barnes and, and the Catholic Faith Store Online as well as other religious article stores, online sellers, and book stores.

If you have questions about rosaries, please contact the authors at



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