The statue is of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and was a gift to St. John's from Saint Olaf Catholic Church in Minneapolis. (See also Kateri Tekakwitha Statue.)
Kateri was born near the town of Auriesville, New York, in the year 1656, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She was four years old when her mother died of smallpox. Her two aunts and an uncle adopted her. Kateri converted to Catholicism as a teenager. She was baptized at the age of twenty and incurred great hostility from her tribe. Although she had to suffer greatly for her Faith, she remained firm in it. Kateri went to a new Christian colony of Indians in Canada. There she lived a life dedicated to prayer, penitential practices, and care for the sick and aged. Every morning, even in bitterest winter, she stood before the chapel door until it opened at four and remained there until after the last Mass. She was devoted to the Eucharist and to Jesus. She died on April 7, 1680 at the age of twenty-four. She is known as the “Lily of the Mohawks.” Work is currently underway to have her Canonized by the Catholic Church.