1889 Einsiedeln

Actual 45 mm size by C. Theiler, Luzern / Vasco L Schlutter, Genf 


She stands with unshod feet, crowned and draped in soft gentle robes, the allegory of the revered Venerable Black Madonna of St. Meinrad chapel.  She graciously bestows joyous refreshment to one weary huntsman, liquid produce from the lush vineyards of the eminent Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey.

Accepted with utmost heartfelt gratitude by the one mirthful partaker of the shooting festival, he raises the silver chalice to receive every drop of precious wine. Hat cast away to the floral bush at his side, for he is at ease in her affectionate care. Grateful for a time of brief respite from daily cares, putting aside all thoughts of danger, his hand casually enfolds the muzzle front-sight, his only thought the drink on hand!

Glorious Cross, with stylized rays illuminate every act of kindness and mercy, all passing through are bound by bonds of kinship and brotherhood.




Of grand massifs Kleiner Mythen (left) and Grosser Mythen (right), silent witnesses to deeds of old archived into the sands of time.

The centuries-old painstakingly built venerable Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey stands tall between the Swiss national museum and City Hall.

Arching above the mountain ranges, the noble emblems of Schwyz and Einsiedeln take centrestage, flanked on the right by blazons of Höfe and March, and on the left by Gersau and Küssnacht.




Einsiedeln Abbey, is a Benedictine monastery (establish 934 AD) in the village of Einsiedeln, in Canton Schwyz. The abbey is dedicated to “Our Lady of the Hermits”; the title being derived from the circumstances of its foundation, for the first inhabitant of the region was Saint Meinrad, a hermit.

Toward the end of the 8th century, a monk named Meinard (c. 797 – 21 January 861 AD) went searching for greater solitude to practice his religious beliefs. Arriving at the place, which is now Einsiedeln, he entered the Dark Forest and built a small hermitage. Among his few possessions was a statue of Virgin Mary given by an abbess from Zurich. Meinard became known for his piety and kindness, and his statue was said to possess miraculous powers.

One particular feature made the Madonna stand out from all others. It was black. Local folklore claimed that years of candle smoke had darkened the statue. Before long the ebony figurine gained a reputation for having a magical aura. Meinard made his Black Madonna his altarpiece and, mythology grew about many miracles attributed to “Our Lady of Einsiedeln.”

One day St. Meinard rescued two ravens that were being attacked by hawks and the ravens became the monk’s allies for the remainder of his life. Two thieves murdered the saint in 861 during a robbery attempt. As they fled into the village, the ravens followed them, squawking loudly until the killers were apprehended at a nearby inn by the alerted townspeople.  

St Meinard’s life and death, his particular willingness to offer hospitality to all (including those whom he knew would take his life), made him became known as the “Martyr of Hospitality”.

Over the next 80 years, the hermitage was occupied by a succession of hermits. The area became known as Einsiedeln or “The Hermitage.” One of the monks, named Eberhard, erected a monastery, Einsiedeln Abbey, and became its first abbot.

During those decades, St. Meinard’s tiny hermitage was transformed into the Lady Chapel, which was said to have been consecrated by Christ himself in 948.Now completely enclosed in the Lady Chapel within the nave of the magnificent Baroque basilica of the expansive abbey of Einsiedeln, the Black Madonna is praised daily by the monks at 4:30 pm. This is an on-going ritual that has taken place for 400 years. 

In memory of the deeds of kindness and mercy of Saint Meinard (known affectionately as the “Marty of Hospitality"), his revered Black Madonna statue, and thefamous landmark Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln.







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