The Catholic Calvary Cemetery is a beautiful and peaceful setting despite being between two busy streets in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois. The cemetery grounds gently slope down from the Chicago Avenue Main Gate to Sheridan Road which borders Lake Michigan.
The cemetery is the final resting place for many of the Catholic faithful, including a Father S. Moretti. Unfortunately, his monument doesn’t give away many details about the Father—not his birth date, place of birth, place of death, or his death date—only the Latin inscription:
OSSA ET CINERES
FRATRUM ORDINIS SERVORUM
Roughly his epitaph translates to:
bones and ashes
brothers of the order of slaves
The B.M.V. is short for the Latin “Beata Maria Virgo” meaning “Blessed Virgin Mary”
His monument is quite impressive. A bronze statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is atop the block of light gray granite. The canopy is supported by ornamented columns resting on a base with three steps each representing a different virtue—“Faith in the will of God…Hope for the dawn of that yet more glorious day and Charity toward all men.”
On the face of the monument is a medallion that is inscribed, “Father S. Moretti” with a base-relief sculpture of his image. The medallion sculpture and the bronze statue of the Blessed Virgin was created by the artist Leopold Bracony. Bracony was an accomplished sculpture and an example of his work can be found at Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana.
According to a story that appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of Purdue Alumnus magazine, Bracony’s statue, “”Tired Boy,” the bronze sculpture centered in Windsor Circle near the entrance of Wood Hall, was part of a collection of gifts donated to the University by philanthropist and art collector Catherine Barker Hickox of Michigan City, Indiana.
“Its sculptor, Leopold Bracony, was inspired by an incident he witnessed during World War I. He noticed two people, a small boy and a woman, who stopped to rest in the midst of the bombing. Touched by the confidence the tired child placed in the woman, Bracony created the sculpture as a symbol of faith.”
The statue was originally owned by Barker Hickox, the only child of millionaire industrialist John H. Barker and was heiress to the Pullman-Standard railroad company fortune, donated the statue to Purdue University.