Recently visiting various churches in Clonmel I was struck by how striking the stained glass windows were. None were particularly celebrated or well-recognised, yet were – quite apart from any religious consideration – beautiful, literally luminous works of art. It struck me that they deserve to be celebrated and recorded. Perhaps there is somewhere, online or in a book, which the stained glass windows of Tipperary are collected, but here is my humble effort in that line.
These images are from the Augustinian Priory in Fethard. This church features a window of Our Lady of Fatima by Harry Clarke, Ireland’s premier stained glass artist. While looking for Harry Clarke links from this post I came across this story which illustrates that stained glass can embody high passions still.
Being an Augustinian Priory, naturally there is a window dedicated to St Augustine. In the North Wall, this features Augustine and his mother, Monica. Augustine, who famously asked God to “make me chaste, but not yet”, eventually followed his mother into Christianity. Towards the end of her life, Monica discussed heaven with Augustine , described in the Confessions as a beatific preview of the life to come. This window is evidently based on this painting by Ary Scheffer of the scene.
Finally, in a side chapel is a window featuring the Augustinian friar Nicholas of Tolentino and the Augustinian nun Clare of Montefalco (“St Clare of the Cross”) , whose vision of Jesus carrying the cross is depicted here.