DeLaSalle High School to unveil Virgin Mary statue modeled after diverse students Friday

Crews began landscaping the Baldwin Prayer Grotto last month. It will debut this Friday and include a life-sized statue of Blessed Virgin Mary with arms embracing DeLaSalle students. (DeLaSalle High School)

A life-sized statue of Blessed Virgin Mary embracing DeLaSalle High School students will be unveiled at the school’s new Baldwin Family Prayer Grotto this Friday.

The statue will debut at the grotto in a courtyard near Founder’s Park on DeLaSalle High School's Nicollet Island campus at 11 a.m. Friday following an opening school year Mass of the Holy Spirit.

Four DeLaSalle students modeled for the statue that reflects the diversity of its student body. Senior Leila Ambrus modeled the face of Mary, whose outstretched arms embrace three other students modeled by senior Elijah Blaylark, recent graduates JunFen Freihammer and Mathias Goddard. The models are white, Black and Chinese American.

The statue was hand sculpted last school year by visual arts students alongside DeLaSalle Christian Brother Jerome Cox.

The grotto provides a space for quiet reflection and prayer for the school community and visitors to the Island, according to the school. It is named in honor for the Baldwin family, longtime DeLaSalle supporters.