Sunday, December 1, 2013

St. Canice Church, Kilkenny, Ireland

St. Canice is so popular in Kilkenny that the Roman Catholics of the area built a church to him after the cathedral dedicated to him was taken over by the Protestant Church of Ireland. In 1747 a chapel was built. It fell into disrepair in the early 1800s, so a new project was mounted to build a larger church. The records are spotty, but it seems that the church was in use in 1824 though the construction did not finish until the late 1830s.

St. Canice Catholic Church, Kilkenny

The exterior features a nice statue of the saint and some holy water fonts outside the doors of the church which J used joyfully.

St. Canice

J blesses himself

Inside is a simple church with a fairly unremarkable nave and altar.



The Stations of the Cross are quite nice, carved in relief and painted to make them more evocative.

Station #7

The real standouts here are the stained glass windows. By the front just before the altar is one with the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Four evangelists

Just in front of it, and inside the sanctuary where I couldn't go to get a picture, was another window with the same layout. Sts. Peter and Paul are the top saints. Just under them are Sts. Patrick and Brigid, certainly worthy of being closer to the Lord than mere evangelists!

Across the altar is a lovely window of the Annunciation with a Madonna and Child statue just below it.

Marian section

Who was St. Canice?
Canice lived from approximately 525 to 599 A.D. He began life as a shepherd but was soon called to be a fisher of men. In the 540s he studied for the priesthood under St. Finian. In the 560s, he went to Scotland (where he was known as Kenneth) and founded several monasteries. Tradition states he founded a monastery in Kilkenny on the grounds of the Cathedral dedicated to him (which is nearby the Catholic Church). He was a learned scholar and wrote a commentary on the gospels called Glas-Chainnigh. His name is variously spelled as Cainneach, Canisius (Roman spelling), Kenny, and Kenneth. His feast day is October 11.

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