The Kateri Indian rosary is a chaplet associated with St. Kateri Tekakwith, known as the “Lilly of the Mohawks,” and is promoted by the Tekakwitha League.

The chaplet is traditionally used as a private devotion and made in two patterns, the first being a cross and the other with a medal of St. Kateri and three beads. The cross is made of staurolite, which is a mineral naturally formed in the shape of a cross.

According to Indian legend, on the day that Christ died the woodland animals wept, with their tears crystallizing into small crosses as they fell on the ground.

The main rosary has 24 beads, representing each of St. Kateri’s years on earth. The chaplet has three colors – crystal clear, red and brownish gold.

Also according to Indian legend, the crystal clear lakes and rivers are the teachers of the Great Spirit.

The Glory Be is recited on the crystal clear beads, an Our Father is prayed on each of the brown or gold beads, and a Hail Mary prayed on the red beads.

Red is used not only because it is the traditional color of love but also of the blood that flows in all mankind, transcending race and color.

St. Kateri (1656-1680) was the daughter of a Mohawk chief and a Catholic mother. She is the first Native American to be proposed for sainthood, was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1980 and canonized in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

St. Kateri remained faithful in the face of overwhelming hostility and serious illnesses. She was known for her life of virtue and remains a role model for those converting to the Catholic Church, young people striving for chastity and anyone looking to deepen their own prayer life.

Many consider her to be a shining example that God’s call to holiness is truly universal, open to all genders, ages and walks of life.

St. Kateri is the patron of environmentalists and orphans. Her feast day is celebrated July 14.