The first North American Indian to become a saint was beatified with four others by pope John Paul in the Vatican on Sunday (22 June).
GV ZOOM OUT Pope on altar in Vatican Basilica as choir sings hymns
GV Pope leads congregation in prayer
GV ZOOM OUT FROM Vatican ornament to congregation as Pope speaks
Red Indian (North American) in traditional costume (mute shot)
Pope blesses crowd from altar and congregation applauds
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Background: The first North American Indian to become a saint was beatified with four others by pope John Paul in the Vatican on Sunday (22 June). The Blessed Kateri Tekawitha, known as "Lily of the Mohawks" was converted to Christianity by early American missionaries. Now she's become a Saint three hundred years after her death.
SYNOPSIS: More than twenty five thousand pilgrims and visitors gathered at Saint Peter's Basilica for the ceremony. The pope dressed in golden robes was assisted by twenty eight cardinals and sixty bishops.
All of the beatification were connected with the spread of Roman Catholicism in the North and South American continents.
They included seventeenth century missionaries Jose de Archieta who founded the Brazilian city of Sao Paolo and Pedro de Betancour who worked in Guatemala. The others were French missionaries to Canada, Francois de Montmorency Laval, the first bishops of Quebec and sister Marie Guyart who founded the Ursuline order.
Among the congregation were American Indian tribal leaders in full dress.
They carried with them an image of Kateri Tekawitha who was baptised by Roman Catholic missionaries in 1676 and died in smallpox at the age of 24. She'd refused to marry and remained a virgin. The service ended with a blessing from the Pope.