Tag Archives: Lithuanian Language

Wiktoria Bernatowicz Tombstone, St. Adalbert Cemetery

A Lithuanian tombstone in a good state of preservation. European immigrants tended to bring with them their memories of what a gravestone should look like, so we find very different styles in different ethnic groups. This is a common East European style. The East European tombstones here were often decorated in very shallow relief, much of which has vanished in a century or so of erosion; but this crucifix is still visible in outline, though the details are lost.

With the help of Google Translate, here is the inscription:

IN MEMORY OF
WIKTORIA BERNATOWICZ
BORN 1860
DIED FEBRUARY 9, 1918
ETERNAL REST

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Unknown Grave, St. Adalbert’s Cemetery

Plumbers are often called upon in Pittsburgh to make simple utilitarian constructions like railings for outdoor steps. Cast-iron pipe is strong, easy to assemble, and durable. Until today, however, Father Pitt had never seen it used for a grave marker. There is something touching about the way some poor Lithuanian or Polish family has found a way to fulfill the desire for a permanent memorial, and to Father Pitt this will always be the Tomb of the Unknown Plumber.

Note how the Selevaneis grave in the background is also outlined in iron pipe; that kind of construction is very common in St. Adalbert’s.