SAINTS’ STATUES AT ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH

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On the grounds of St. Joseph’s Church at Clifden in Galway, you will find a Calvary group and four statues of saints, each with their own story and significance.

The Calvary group consists of the crucifix, St. Mary, St. John the Apostle and St. Mary Magdalena. It depicts the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion at Golgotha, where he was accompanied by his mother, his beloved disciple and his faithful follower. The Calvary group is a common feature of Catholic churches, especially in Ireland, where it symbolizes the suffering and sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of humanity.

The four statues of saints are:

– St. Mary Immaculate Conception: This statue shows Mary as the immaculate conception, meaning that she was conceived without original sin and preserved from all sin throughout her life. This is a dogma of the Catholic Church that was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854, after centuries of theological debate and popular devotion. The statue depicts Mary with a crown of stars, a blue mantle and a white dress, holding a lily as a sign of her purity.

– St. Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ: This statue shows Mary as the mother of Jesus, holding him in her arms as a child. This is one of the most common representations of Mary in Christian art, as it expresses her maternal love and care for her son, who is also the Son of God. The statue also reflects the title of Mary as Theotokos, meaning “God-bearer” or “Mother of God”, which was affirmed by the Council of Ephesus in 431.

– Sacred Heart Statue: This statue shows Jesus with his heart exposed, surrounded by a crown of thorns and flames. It represents the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which focuses on his love and mercy for humanity, especially for sinners. The devotion originated from the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 17th century, who saw Jesus revealing his heart to her and asking her to spread his message of love and reparation. The statue also reminds us of the words of Jesus to St. Faustina Kowalska in the 20th century: “Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love.”

– St. Joseph with Jesus: This statue shows Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, holding him in his arms as a child. It illustrates the role of Joseph as the protector and provider of the Holy Family, as well as his obedience and faithfulness to God’s will. Joseph is also the patron saint of workers, fathers, families and the dying. He is venerated for his humility, courage and righteousness.

These statues are not only artistic expressions, but also invitations to prayer and reflection. They remind us of the mysteries of our faith and the examples of our saints. They also connect us with the rich tradition and heritage of our parish, which dates back to the 6th century, when St. Fechin and St. Flannan established churches in Omey and Ballindoon.

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Saint's Statues - Statues At St. Joseph's Church

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