St. Vincent offers more than just football at Steelers training camp
While many of those attending training camp are probably more obsessed with the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a quick look at the campus around them reveals quite a bit of history as well. Here are a few things you may not have known about St. Vincent College.
Latin might be a dead language, but don't tell that to the heraldic crests representing
The crest is a shield with a blue-and-gray checked pattern, and its pattern is referred to a "fusily shield." In traditional heraldry, blue represents Venus, truth and loyalty, while gray represents the moon, peace and sincerity, according to HeraldryAndCrests.com.
The black bars on the crest's shield form the letter "V," and the crosses signify a connection to the Christian faith in classic heraldry.
WE'RE NO. 1!
The college grounds are home to a number of firsts in the Catholic faith. Saint Vincent Basilica, originally St. Vincent Parish and named for St. Vincent de Paul, was built in 1790 as the first Catholic parish in Pennsylvania west of the Allegheny Mountains.
The college, founded by Bavarian monk Boniface Wimmer in 1846, was the first Benedictine monastery in the U.S.
WHO WAS ST. VINCENT?
Saint Vincent de Paul was a French Roman Catholic priest who lived from 1581 to 1660. He was born in the village of Pouy in the French province of Guyenne and Gascony. His father, Jean, sent him to seminary at the age of 15.
In the early 1600s, he spent two years as a slave after being taken captive by Barbary pirates from northern Africa.
Eventually he made his way back to France and served as a chaplain, a tutor and even spiritual adviser to Queen Anne following the death of King Louis XIII. He spent 28 years serving as spiritual director of the Convent of St. Mary of Angels in Paris.
Today, he is the patron saint of all works of charity.
THE SAUERKRAUT TOWER?
What looks like an innocuous, rounded two-story building near the Latimer Library was actually an integral part of the St. Vincent campus in its early years. The nearly 125-year-old Sauerkraut Tower, built in 1893, once served as a gravity-powered method of distributing drinking water throughout the campus. It was also the place where the Benedictine Sisters of Eichstatt, Bavaria, stored the homemade sauerkraut they regularly prepared.
HONORING THE KING
On the northeastern side of the campus, a parklet and fountain area is named Ludwig Platz, German for "Ludwig's Garden," in honor of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The king, who reigned from 1825 to 1848, was a patron of the arts, and in addition to donating paintings, books and other cultural amenities to the campus in its early days, also commissioned a number of neoclassical buildings in Munich, Germany, and was a collector of early German, Dutch and Italian Renaissance paintings.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, email@example.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.