Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Athlone, Ireland

Construction of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Athlone began in 1930. The first mass was said in 1937 on St. Patrick's Day as it was nearing completion. The church was solemnly dedicated on June 29 of that year, the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul. The church sits on a hill over the River Shannon and can be seen for quite a distance.

Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Athlone

Rear view

The church follows the Roman Renaissance style which is quite uncommon in Ireland. It is elegant and spacious inside, with room for over 1000 worshipers.


The main altar has some nice Latin inscriptions above that say, "Come holy ones take the Body of Christ; Praised be Jesus Christ."

Main altar

Latin above the altar

The pulpit also has the ornate majesty found throughout the church.


The stained glass is quite striking.

St. Joseph

St. Paul

St. Joseph again!

Our Lady

Bas relief medallions on the walls represent the four evangelists, showing them inspired by angels to write their gospels. The angels take the symbolic form associated with each evangelist--the cow with St. Luke, the man with St. Matthew, the lion with St. Mark, and the eagle with St. John.

St. Luke instructed by a cow angel!

St. Matthew instructed by a human angel

Other statues in the church are clearly modeled after famous statues in Rome.

Sts. Peter and Paul, with Peter's foot not rubbed away like in Rome

David and Moses


Pieta like Michelangelo's (though the cross is not in Michelangelo's)

Other interesting bits were a beautiful painting of St. Joseph's happy death and an impressive holy water font.

Happy Death

J gets ready to bless himself

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