Claude Chauchetière, Catherine Thegakouita

Circa 1690
St. Francis Xavier Church, Kahnawake, Quebec

Notre-Dame des Victoires as it appears today, in Quebec City. It was built in 1687, largely destroyed during the British invasion of 1759, and restored in 1816. If the 1816 work restored the look of the original church, and if Chauchetière visited Quebec City after 1687, the church may have been the inspiration for the somewhat grander one in the painting. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)
Chauchetière was the saint's spiritual director. Catherine Thegakouita is the spelling he used when he wrote her biography. Today it is usually spelled Kateri Tekakwitha. The painting hangs in the church in Kahnawake. Their website ascribes it to Chauchetière and dates it as circa 1690, which would be ten years after St. Kateri's death. The church in the background seems too grand for this early period in Quebec history, though it does resemble the more modest Notre-Dame des Victoires, built in 1687 in Quebec City.

In any case, the painting can be thought of as the source of several features of subsequent iconography: the laced footware, the short, fringed mantle common among the Mohawk, and the cross. However, most later images leave out the blanket-like mantle.

More of St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Source: Wikimedia Commons