SAINTS’ STATUES AT ST. BRENDAN’S CATHEDRAL

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ISt. Brendan’s Cathedral in Loughrea is home to three statues of saints that have a special significance for the local community and the history of the Catholic Church.

The first statue you will encounter is that of St. Mary with a child in a grotto, located near the entrance of the cathedral. This statue was erected in 1954 to commemorate the Marian Year, a special year dedicated to the veneration of the Virgin Mary by Pope Pius XII. The statue depicts Mary holding the infant Jesus in her arms, surrounded by flowers and candles. The grotto is a replica of the one in Lourdes, France, where Mary is said to have appeared to a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. The statue of Mary in Loughrea is a reminder of the devotion and faith of the local people, who often pray and light candles at the grotto.

The second statue you will see is that of St. Joseph, located on the left side of the cathedral. This statue was erected in 1961 to commemorate the centenary of St. Joseph’s patronage of the Universal Church, declared by Pope Pius IX in 1870. The statue depicts Joseph holding a lily, a symbol of his purity and righteousness, and a carpenter’s square, a symbol of his profession and his role as the foster father of Jesus. The statue of Joseph in Loughrea is a tribute to his virtues and his protection of the Church and the family.

The third statue you will find is that of St. Therese of Lisieux, located on the right side of the cathedral. This statue was erected in 1973 to commemorate the centenary of her birth, which was celebrated by Pope Paul VI with a special apostolic letter. The statue depicts Therese holding a crucifix and a bouquet of roses, which represent her love for Jesus and her promise to send “a shower of roses” from heaven after her death. Therese was a French Carmelite nun who died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis. She was canonized in 1925 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1997 for her writings and spirituality, known as “the Little Way” of trust and surrender to God’s will. The statue of Therese in Loughrea is an inspiration for many Catholics who seek to follow her example of holiness and simplicity.

These three statues are not only beautiful works of art, but also powerful expressions of faith and culture. They reflect the history and identity of the people of Loughrea, who have a strong connection to their patron saint, St. Brendan, whose stone statue adorns the facade of the cathedral tower.

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St. Brendan's Roman Catholic Cathedral

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