SBM.03m St. Benedict's Convent Cemetery and St. Gertrude Hall of the Academy, St. Joseph, MN (c. 1900)
EXPANSION OF MONASTERY (1880-1909) SAINT BENEDICT'S MONASTERY (CONVENT), ST. JOSEPH, MN
St. Benedict's Convent Cemetery plot was laid out in 1884. Prior to that time, the first twelve sisters who died were buried in the parish cemetery (with the exception of Mother Benedicta Riepp, who was buried in St. Cloud)" The grave markers attest to the exceptionally early age of death due to the toll of the rigors of pioneer life -- the scarcity of good food; the exposure to the cold and to epidemics; inadequate medical care; and the pressures of work and overcrowded conditions. During the first 57 years, 95 sisters died; the average age at death was less than 30 years.
The grave markers are unique. The first were simple iron crosses. From 1890 to 1935, the community purchased a more elaborately designed cross with a plaque bearing the inscribed information of name and the dates of birth, profession, and death. Later the community purchased granite upright-markers; at present granite flat-footstones are used."
In 1884 Mother Benedicta Riepp's remains were brought from St. Cloud to St. Joseph. The grave, marked with an iron cross, has been a place of pilgrimage, not only for the sisters of St. Benedict's Monastery, but also for other American Benedictine sisters and for citizens of Mother Benedicta's birthplace, Waal, Germany. _______ SBMA
monastery (convent); cemetery
Vivarium; Saint Benedict's Monastery - St. Joseph, MN