Updated 10/21/2012 07:40 PM
Celebrations to honor Kateri Tekakwitha
It's not Rome, but the Mohawk Valley is a close second. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, thousands of people were able to celebrate the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha at the very place she was born.
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AURIESVILLE, N.Y. -- "It's wonderful, we've been praying a long time for this," exclaimed Regina Mushrock.
Many people's prayers were finally answered. On Sunday morning, Kateri Tekakwitha became the first Native American ever admitted to sainthood.
Mary Himeorick said, "This means the world to me, I pray to her all the time."
"This has been a long time coming, hundreds of people have witnessed her miracle work," added Sea Flower Dawson.
A celebration mass was held at the National Shrine in Fonda, where Kateri was baptized many moons ago.
Edward Bishop said, "That's amazing and as you can see there are Native Americans here today to take part in this today, it's unbelievable."
Celebrations continued later on at the Our Lady of Martrys Shrine in Auriesville,
where 10,000 people walked the grounds where Kateri was born, in 1656.
"Just to know how much she cares, and how powerful she is, how she loves people and she loves to be wherever she needs to be," said Dawson.
"She overcame so many struggles, and is such an inspiration to us all," noted Mushrock.
For those that weren't able to participate in the celebrations, the shrine's visitor center will be open year-round with mementos from the special day.