First Native American Canonized By Pope Benedict XVI

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Seven more saints including the first Native American, were canonized Sunday morning by Pope Benedict XVI.

Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th century Mohawk Indian, was born in what is now New York in 1656.

Orphaned at age 4 by Smallpox that left her scarred and partially blind, Tekakwitha was one of the most devout Native American converts.

Since Tekakwitha's death in 1680 at age 24 in Montreal, many miracles have been attributed to her, the most recent occurred in 2007 when a 7-year-old boy was inexplicably cured of a flesh eating disease that according to doctors was supposed to have killed him.

"Near death, he was given last rites. At that point, the local priest suggested praying to Kateri for an intervention. Jake recovered and the cure was deemed by the Vatican to be medically inexplicable - a miracle," said Canada's Globe and Mail.

The road to sainthood is difficult and complicated. "The Vatican's complicated saint-making procedure requires that the Vatican certify a "miracle" was performed through the intercession of the candidate - a medically inexplicable cure that can be directly linked to the prayers offered by the faithful," said the Associated Press. "One miracle is needed for beatification, a second for canonization."

Tekakwitha was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II.

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