St. Meinrad was a hermit monk who lived during the ninth century in what is present-day Switzerland. In fact, Einsiedeln Abbey, Saint Meinrad's mother house, was built on the site of his hermitage. Despite the mural's depiction, St. Meinrad, the martyr, never visited America. Rather, the mural is symbolic of the history of the monastic community at Saint Meinrad.
In the upper left corner is the Abbey of Einsiedeln, set at the foot of the Swiss Alps. The procession of monks signifies the Benedictines who left Einsiedeln to start a new foundation in southern Indiana. The ship in the upper right symbolizes the monks crossing the Atlantic Ocean to America. In fact, a ship appears as part of the monastery's official crest.
Further down on the right, you'll see Native Americans with the monks, who are baptizing, teaching and preaching to them. Saint Meinrad's first abbot, Martin Marty, was very interested in missionary work, particularly to the Native Americans. In the 1880s, the monks of Saint Meinrad became intensely involved with the Sioux tribes in the Dakota Territory. In fact, one of Saint Meinrad's daughter houses, Blue Cloud Abbey, was founded in the 1950s as a school for American Indians.
The mural is a typical artist's rendition of a missionary. St. Meinrad holds in his left hand a large book that reads Evangelium, which means "Good News." His right hand holds the cross of Christ. His foot is stepping on the head of the devil as the devil grasps futilely for the crown of eternal life.