Calvary Cemetery, Summer 2020

This interesting enclosure at Calvary Cemetery is rare in St. Louis cemeteries; it is Gothic Revival in style and still has plenty of room left in it, as it seems like the burials are around the outside so far.

Joseph O’Neil was born in 1817, coming to St. Louis in 1837, taking up the construction business. Before dying in 1893, he also went into banking and the railroads. I looked up Roscrea, Ireland, where O’Neil was born. It looks like an absolutely beautiful town that would be worth visiting if you happen to be in Ireland.

There is another one that is smaller with lower walls and circular in shape.

There is also some great sculpture that I haven’t noticed before. Below is a depiction of the Holy Family. St. Joseph is easily recognizable with his lilies in his right hand and carpenter’s square in his left. The Christ Child and the Virgin Mary are perhaps self-explanatory. What is also interesting is that the sculpture is obviously much older limestone placed on a newer granite headstone. I wonder where the sculpture came from originally.

I also came upon this fascinating depiction of a Pietà by an unknown artist in the norther part of the cemetery. Obviously any depiction of this subject matter brings immediate comparison to Michelangelo, and there is even at least one copy of his version in Calvary as well (last photographs).

Calvary Cemetery, 1897, Library of Congress, 2018650116

2 Comments Add yours

  1. ME says:

    The Holy Family sculpture seems to be much older than the monument it is placed on (10th photo down).

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      That is a very good point. The base is granite but the sculpture, which is definitely much older, shows extensive damage from acid rain from the burning of high-sulfur coal. The two raised fingers of Christ’s proper right hand have been ruined due to the damage.

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