Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Kansas Day Trip - September cemetery post

St. Fidelis church, also known as the Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria, Kansas.  You can see these magnificent spires from 1-70.  This is a place that must be seen!

In 1876 23 Volga-German Catholic families fled from service in the czar's army in Russia.  A very similar story of our Mennonite ancestors who also came to America 2 years earlier. 

The limestone to build this cathedral was quarried from the south banks of the Big Creek, 7 miles south of Victoria (picture on next post)

Wheat woven cross

In 1916, stain glass windows were installed at a cost of $3,700.  Today they are valued by the church's insurance at more than $500,000!

It was very worshipful.  
It was very silent inside.

After our time at the church, we drove to the cemetery.

The historic cemetery just north of the church is filled with unique Volga German iron crosses that mark the earliest grave sites.  The early German settlers crafted these crosses of  iron and steel and other metals.

I read the following:  "They are particularly suited as prairie monuments – unlike wooden crosses, the wrought iron or other metals were tough enough to withstand prairie fires, storms, even time itself. The cross represented the sacred; the iron represented strength — attributes of the pioneers they honored."

We have Schumacher relatives too, although they are Swiss Mennonite.

The early settlers had lots of heartache.  
This woman lost her 1 1/2 year old and the following month her newborn also died.

This family lost their 3 month old one year, a 1 month old the following year and then another 1 month old the next year.  My heart just goes out to these young parents.  Life on the prairie was hard!

And here are a few unique gravestones.

Next - Pfeifer cathedral and cemetery, just a few miles south.

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