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Recognisable Thurles Face Appears In A Window

Pic. Left: Window dedicated to St. Thomas Aquinas. Pic. Top Right: Summa Theologiae. Pic. Bottom Right: Archbp. Dr. Thomas Croke.

Ireland’s National Heritage Week 2019 begins August 17th.

Forgetting briefly the everyday religious benefits obtained by Thurles and Tipperary people; not to mention the same religious spiritual advantages enjoyed by hundreds of visiting day-trippers down through the centuries; it remains necessary to continue to reveal the history, relating to the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles, latter a truly magnificent edifice, built to the glory of God.

Slightly to the right hand side and to the rear as you face the Cathedral’s interior Tabernacle, can be viewed a stained-glass window, dedicated to Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274), probably born in the castle of Roccasecca in the Province of Frosinone, in the Lazio region of Italy, and who became a Dominican priest and Scriptural Theologian.

The dedicated window portrays the Saint, the son of Landulf of Aquino and his wife Theodora, holding a scroll containing the text of his Summa Theologiae, latter written between 1265 & 1274 and also known as the Summa Theologica or simply the Summa.

Summa Theologiae, Summa Theologica or Summa

The Summa Theologiae is the best-known work of St. Thomas Aquinas. Although never completed, same remains one of the most influential works within Western literature and a compendium of all of the main theological teachings held by the Catholic Church.

Same was intended as an instructional guide, not just for the few literate laity of that period, but also for theology students, including seminarians; to whom are extolled the five arguments required to prove the existence of God, which are known as the “five ways” or “five proofs” (In Latin: quinque viae).

The stained-glass window is the work of the renowned German stained-glass designer and manufacturing company of Franz Mayer, Munich. It is interesting to note that on closer inspection of this stained-glass window, the facial features of the late Archbishop Dr. Thomas William Croke appear; thus, replacing the unknown facial characteristics of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Text on the base of the window asks for prayers for Dr. Thomas Croke (D.Div.), [1824 – 1902], latter former Archbishop of Cashel and Emly and first patron of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Currently the largest Irish GAA stadium, Croke Park, situated at Jones’ Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 3, in which Tipperary will meet and hopefully defeat old rivals Kilkenny, in the 2019 Senior All Ireland hurling challenge, continues to be named in his honour.

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