MARIAN SHRINE AT TUAM
One of the most prominent landmarks in the town of Tuam in North Galway, is the Marian Shrine at Tuam Courthouse, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that was erected in 1954 to commemorate the Marian Year.
The Marian Year was a special celebration of the Catholic Church that marked the centenary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which states that Mary was conceived without original sin. The Marian Year was also an occasion to honour Mary as the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven, and to promote devotion to her among the faithful.
The Marian Shrine at Tuam Courthouse is one of the many shrines that sprung up throughout Ireland in 1954 as a sign of this devotion. The statue is situated on the wall of the Tuam Courthouse, a building that dates back to 1838 and that has witnessed many important events in the history of Tuam and Ireland. The contrast between the secular and the sacred, between the law and the grace, is striking and symbolic.
The statue depicts Mary with her hands clasped in prayer, wearing a blue mantle over a white robe. She has a serene and gentle expression on her face, inviting the passers-by to join her in contemplation and intercession. The statue is surrounded by a stone arch with floral motifs and a cross on top.
The shrine is also a reminder of the role that Mary plays in the life of the Church and of every Christian. As Pope Francis said during his visit to Knock in 2018: “Mary our Mother knows the joys and struggles felt in each home. Holding them in her Immaculate Heart, she brings them with love to the throne of her Son.”
The Marian Shrine at Tuam Courthouse is not only a historical monument, but also a living testimony of the love that Tuam has for the Virgin Mary.
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