Out of doors the landscape contains treasures of its own. Near "Bishop
Rosati's log cabin," one of the original structures at the Barrens, is
a path leading around the seminary grounds and along a densely shaded walk lined
with maple trees. At its southern end is a magnificent mound covered with myrtle
and surrounded by a circle of ancient boxwood and native Missouri Red Cedar.
The mound is topped by a statue of our Lady of Victory. The path from the mound
leads to a grotto in honor of our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
The Grotto of our Lady of the Miraculous Medal was built by the seminarians
during World War I. It has become a special center of devotion to our Blessed
Mother since then. Construction began in 1917 and was completed in November
1920. The first stone was put into place on June 25, 1917. A small chapel recessed
in the center of the grotto wall has a small altar made of fieldstone. In a
small niche at the top of the grotto wall, directly above the small chapel,
is a statue of our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. The statue of our Lady arrived
August 5, 1920. The grotto stands at the site of the old quarry, behind the
Mound of our Lady of Victory (originally known as "The Mound of Our Lady
of the Fields"). Rock used to build historic SaintMary's of the Barrens
Church came from this site.
When the last stone was in place and the landscaping all finished, Archbishop Glennon dedicated the grotto on November 11, 1920. Priests, brothers, and seminarians
of Saint Mary's, helped by local laborers, worked three years to complete the grotto project. The entire construction is documented in an old seminary journal. The journal mentions that documents were buried in the grotto with the names of the workers and those at Saint Mary's Seminary.
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