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 Home > The Great Upper Church

Mary Queen of Ireland

The green marble walls that surround this oratory's central figures of Madonna and Child are covered with mosaic images and carvings that reflect the Irish heritage and Catholic Faith. On the right wall is a map of Ireland with its four modern provinces, and a dominating image of St. Patrick at its center. Monasteries are denoted throughout the country from which missionaries departed to spread the gospel to all regions of the world.

Portions of St. Patrick's Breastplate (below), a popular prayer, are along the bottom of the wall. A Celtic cross dominates the door behind the statue in imitation of the castle door of an Irish chieftain or king.

On the left wall is an alabaster window with the themes of Ireland's devotion to Mary: her 1879 apparition at Knock, the Mass Rock, pilgrimages to Croagh Patrick, and the Legion of Mary, founded in 1922. Four mosaics around the window represent the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John -- patterned after the characteristic artwork produced by Irish monks in the Book of Kells.

St. Patrick's Breastplate
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.