Thursday, May 7, 2009


Above is the mosaic floor of the entrance hall of the Columban Motherhouse. "Euntes docetes omnes gentes" are the words of our Lord and mean 'Go teach all nations' an injunction that the Columbans have taken to heart. The 'P' and 'X' in the middle is the Chi-Rho symbol taken from the first two letters of 'Christ' in Greek and it symbolises not only His name but His kingdom too. In the corners one can see the shields of two of Ireland's four provinces, Ulster on the left and Leinster on the right. The shield of Ulster has the Red Hand of the O'Neills, hereditary Kings of Ulster on the Red Cross on a gold banner of the de Burgos. The Leinster shield has the Irish harp on a Green field. The Irish President's banner is a golden harp with silver strings on an azure field. Of the other two provinces Connacht has a blue and white field with an arm holding a sword united to half an eagle (said to symbolize the unity of Old English and Gael) while Munster has three gold crowns on an azure field (symbolizing its three greatest lordships). I point this floor our to our students when we bring them to Dalgan. A little beauty ennobles the soul.


  1. I would love to use this photograph (of the mosaic in Dalgan) in an anniversary tribute to a Columban missionary. Is there any way I can get a high-resolution copy of the photo. Unfortunately, I live in the US and cannot visit Dalgan to take my own photograph so I would be very grateful if I could obtain a high-res copy.

  2. That's the highest resolution I have. If you contact Dalgan and ask for Ger Clarke (tell him you were in touch with me) he might be able to provide you with a higher-res photo. I won't be out to Dalgan this Autumn at all otherwise I'd see if I could do something for you.



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