ST. MARTIN DE PORRES SCULPTURE BY JAMES McKENNA – CHURCH ON CLADDAGH QUAY IN GALWAY
The first time that I tried to photograph this statue back in 2015 a lady in a large black SUV insisted on parking in such a manner as to block my view of this statue and she was very rude. I had to wait until my 2017 visit to get this photograph [in 2016 I forgot to photograph it].
Naomh Máirtín de Porres. The patron saint of mixed-race people and all those seeking interracial harmony.
Irish Sculptor, JAMES McKENNA (1933 – 2000)
This statue caught me by surprise as I had originally believed it to be a “Mother And Child” statue however it is a granite sculpture showing St. Martin de Porres in the act of pouring soup into a bowl for a hungry child while laying a comforting hand on the youngster’s head.
Martin de Porres Velázquez, O.P. (December 9, 1579 – November 3, 1639), was a Peruvian lay brother of the Dominican Order who was beatified in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI and canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII. He is the patron saint of mixed-race people, barbers, innkeepers, public health workers, and all those seeking racial harmony.
He was noted for his work on behalf of the poor, establishing an orphanage and a children’s hospital. He maintained an austere lifestyle, which included fasting and abstaining from meat. Among the many miracles attributed to him were those of levitation, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures, and an ability to communicate with animals.
St. Mary’s Dominican church was designed by William Hague. With its rock-faced granite walls and finely detailed round-headed arches, this handsome church has often been described as being of Norman style. Features such as a carved tympanum and moulded surrounds at the front entrance as well as fine windows enliven the composition. This structure is a good example of the return of the Romanesque style linked with the Celtic Revival-style church architecture of the late nineteenth century. The well-preserved and decorated interior with its richly ornamented reredos, altar and font is especially worthy of note.
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