Three tiny angels

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The largest Catholic Cemetery of the Archdiocese of Chicago is the Saint Adalbert Cemetery located in Niles, one of the northern suburbs. Saint Adalbert’s was established in 1872 to serve the large population of Polish Catholics. Saint Adalbert, the first Polish saint, was known as the “Apostle of the Slavs” and also the “Apostle of Bohemia”.

One of the most poignant gravestones in the cemetery is one dedicated to three children—Edouard, Albyna, and Alojs. There is no last names or dates of birth and death on the monument but the gravestone depicts three angels of the same age, each holding a rose and wreath. These three babies are all uniformly lined up and may have been triplets.

In funerary art the laurel wreath is often seen as a symbol of victory over death.  The rose also has a religious meaning, differing by color.  The white rose symbolizes purity while the red rose represents martyrdom and the messianic hope that Christ will return.

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