Sunday, November 1, 2009

History of St. Patrick's Cathedral

Saint Patrick is said to have passed through Dublin on his journey through Ireland. He is reputed to have baptised converts from paganism to Christianity in a well close to where the cathedral now stands. To commemorate his visit a small wooden church was built on the site, one of the four Celtic parish churches in Dublin. In 1191 John Comyn, the first Anglo-Norman archbishop of Dublin, raised this ancient church of Saint Patrick ad insula to the status of a cathedral. The present building, the largest church in the country, was erected between 1200 and 1270. Over the centuries as the elements, religious reformation, and persecution took their toll, the cathedral fell into disrepair, despite many attempts to restore it. Between 1860 and 1900 a full-scale restoration was carried out by the Guinness family.
The cathedral stands majestically as a memorial to our historic past. But it stands for much more. A historic cathedral such as this lifts us out of the realm of things and circumstances which change into the realm of things which are eternal and do not change. It gives us a sense of perspective both in space and time and it brings us face-to-face with our faith in God through Christ, who alone can give our lives true meaning and lasting satisfaction.

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