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Daily Meditation April 16, 2018

The Collect for Mary (Molly) Brant (Konwatsijayenni)] Witness to the Faith among the Mohawks, 1796:

Maker and lover of all creation, you endued Molly Brant with the gifts of justice and loyalty, and made her a wise and prudent clan mother in the household of the Mohawk nation: Draw us also toward the goal of our faith, that we may at last attain the full dignity of our nature in our true native land, where with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

 

Mohawk Prayer

Oh Great Spirit, Creator of all things;

Human Beings, trees, grass, berries.

Help us, be kind to us.

Let us be happy on earth.

Let us lead our children

To a good life and old age.

These our people; give them good minds

To love one another.

Oh Great Spirit,

Be kind to us

Give these people the favor

To see green trees,

Green grass, flowers, and berries

This next spring;

So we all meet again

Oh Great Spirit,

We ask of you.

 - Mohawk Prayer

 

From Holy Women, Holy Men:

Mary, or Molly Brant, known among the Mohawks as Konwatsijayenni, was an important presence among the Iroquois Confederacy during the time of the American Revolution. Baptized and raised as an Anglican due to the British presence in her tribal area, she spoke and wrote in English, and she sought to keep the Mohawks, as well as the other tribes of the Iroquois Nation, loyal to the British government during the Revolution. Born to Peter Tehonwaghkwangeraghkwa and his wife Margaret, she moved west to Ohio with her family and lived there until her father’s death. She and her brother Joseph took the name of their stepfather, Brant Kanagaradunkwa, who married their mother in 1753. Her stepfather was a friend of Sir William Johnson, the British Superintendent for North Indian Affairs. Mary met Sir William in 1759, and though they could not legally marry, she became his common law wife, and together they had nine children. She exerted influence among both the British and the Mohawks, and her voice was often sought among tribal councils and in treaty efforts. Following her husband’s death, the Oneidas and the Americans, in retaliation for her loyalty to the British and to the Anglican Church, destroyed her home. She and her children fled and were protected by the principal chief of the Five Nations, whose leaders respected her word and counsel. In 1783, she moved to Kingston, Ontario, where the British Government rewarded her for her loyalty. A lifelong Anglican, she helped found St. George’s Anglican Church in Kingston. At her death her tribesmen as well as the British with whom she had worked mourned her. 

Date: 
Monday, April 16, 2018
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