St. Gormgail the Confessor - Harry Clarke Stained-glass

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'St. Gormgail the Confessor - Harry Clarke Stained-glass' page

St. Mary's Church Ballinrobe, County Mayo

By Averil Staunton

St. Gormgail the Confessor

Harry Clarke has depicted St. Gormgail wearing a pallium, which was worn only by archbishops, patriarchs and the Pope. Traditionally he was know as an Anam Cara or soul friend and held in high esteem by  people who travelled long distances to converse with him; one being Brian Boru the High King of Ireland.

He stands calmly looking directly at us, wearing a large blue rosary beads and cross over his robes.

St. Gormgail’s overhead symbol is a bee-hive style stone hut, which type was used by early Irish monks; traces of this style of living quarters was found on Inis Robe, near the mouth of the River Robe close to Ballinrobe and noted by Ballinrobe historian Hubert T. Knox of Cranmore House.

The Predella:St Gormgail converting the Pagans” depict by Harry Clarke has the saint standing on the banks of a river holding a golden crucifix aloft preaching to pagans. The kneeling man in scarlet robes, on the opposite bank of the river, may represent Brian Boru.

This page was added by Averil Staunton on 14/08/2013.