Sunday, July 13, 2014

Carved in Stone

St. Michael's Cemetery in Roslindale (a Boston neighborhood) doesn't boast the ambiance of the garden cemeteries like Mt. Auburn or Woodlawn. There are no weeping willows and peaceful streams. The stones are packed in close much like the triple deckers many of these individuals would have lived in. The residents are predominantly Italian.(The cemetery was founded in the early 1900s by four Italian pastors as the cemetery across the street wouldn't allow Italians to be buried there.) St. Michael's might not have the landscaping, but the monuments are just as spectacular. Most of these stones are carved by hand. Many were done by the Ardolino Bros. stone works. Mausoleums ring the cemetery and the Ardolino Bros. stamp are carved into many of them. Uncle Manny's mother was an Ardolino, and I suspect Manny worked for his cousins. As I roamed the cemetery, I wondered which stones Uncle Manny might have worked on.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus watches over the matriarch and patriarch. They are flanked by St. Teresa of Avila (matriarch's side) and St. Theresa, the Little Flower. The cemetery doesn't allow planting so many of the stones have vases on the base. 

A praying angel

This angel lost her wings. They can be seen lying to the left of the stone.

Scroll pierce by a  palm branch. It almost looks like a quill.

This little angel lost her hand.

This was the most spectacular monument I saw at the cemetery. St. Michael, the Archangel dispatches Satan to Hell. The stone is a good 8 ft. tall.

This is my maiden name. Further research needed to find if this is a relation. 

Monument of Clamanzio Ardolino, one of the owners of the Ardolino Bros. stone works and maybe Uncle Manny's cousin as well as one of his bosses. Beautiful lilies grow at the foot of a cross.

The Lamb of God decorates this child's grave.

An unusual stone carved to look like The Book of Life for this individual.


  1. These remind me of Mt. Hope Cemetery here in Rochester. Whenever Maura and I walk there I always come out wondering about the stories behind the monuments.

  2. I wonder about the stories too.........

  3. Impressive. I've never seen a headstone done like the book of life before.
    Another good post.