As many as 500 people in Winnipeg celebrated the canonization of the first aboriginal saint by the Catholic Church Sunday with a day-long series of events including a feast and a mass.
In Rome, thousands of pilgrims attended the Vatican mass that made Kateri Tekakwitha, a young Mohawk woman who died 300 years ago, into an official saint Sunday.
In Winnipeg, the focus was at the Kateri Tekakwitha Parish on Home Street that is named in her memory.
The day began with a sunrise ceremony, an aboriginal spiritual practice to greet the rising of the sun and continued with a Roman Catholic mass conducted in the Ojibway language, followed by a feast of pot luck dishes that parishioners donated.
Parishioners said mass that included a Blessing of the Relic, Sunday, a highlight that brought tears to the eyes of some and reverent looks to others. Afterward, many described the experience as exceptionally powerful.