Handsome Lake

I’m attracted to mystics no matter what their tradition. Handsome Lake was an Iroquois prophet who lived in late 18th and early 19th century. In 1799, Handsome Lake had the first in a series of visions while lying in his bed deathly ill. A messenger from the Creator appeared to him, giving him instructions for the Iroquois.
Yesterday, while visiting the Kateri Shrine near Fonda, New York I came across a lovely quote from Handsome Lake. It is part of the Peace Grove at the Kateri Shrine. It is hard to believe that in our own ethnocentrism we used our own weapons of mass destruction, i.e. muskets, smallpox and greater numbers to remove the likes of Handsome Lake from our midst. I owe the Conventual Franciscans of Immaculate Conception Province a debt of gratitude for maintaining this lovely shrine on the banks of the Mohawk River and near the birthplace of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha, “the Lily of the Mohawks.”

“Speak evil of no one. If you can say no good of a person, then be silent. Let not your tongues betray you into evil. For these are the words of our creator. Let all strive to cultivate friendship with those who surround them.”–Handsome Lake

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