Catherine Tekakwitha. By Daniel Sargent. (Longmans. 7s, 6d.) In 1675 the Mohawk girl Tekakwitha was baptised by Fr. de Lamberville, S.J., at Kanawake and given the name of Catherine. She was eighteen years old and unmarried. At the Christmas of 1677 she assisted fully at Mass by receiving holy communion, the first member of the Five Nations of the Iroquois ever to do so: two years later she took the first vow of virginity recorded by any North American Indian. On April 1680. she died.
Only about a quarter of Mr. Sargent's book is taken up by his moving account of the Christian life of this Red Indian girl who ever since her death has been revered as a saint: the remainder gives the background and immediately previous history of the Algonquins and the Iroquoians, the tribes of Tekakwitha's mother and father respectively. It is an extremely well written review of the coming of the French to America, and of the missionary work of the Jesuits there during the first half of the seventeenth century, the era of the martyrs St. John Brebeuf, St. Isaac Jogues and their companions. and includes some most interesting particulars of Red Indian life and culture.
This book is really worth reading: it has no padding. no blah, and can be commended to all readers alike.