EcclesiasticalEmma Ward

Armagh Cathedral

EcclesiasticalEmma Ward
Armagh Cathedral

Armagh Cathedral

Christian Celebration Window 1999

The concept for the design of the window is based on two themes; the Book of Kells and the Culdees or (servant of God) which link from the birth of Christianity through to Christianity coming to Ireland and through four main Saints -

St Patrick, St Columbia, St Brendan, St Bride.


The central figure depicts one of the Culdees ‘Ferdomnagh’ the scribe who brings the stories of Christian faith and education in Armagh.  He carries the torch illuminating Christ’s Kingdom symbolised above and bringing light to the darkness.


Key Page from The Book of Kells - Christ figure bringing news of one life through the gospels.

C/R/L/Top  Apples - Relating to the local Armagh area.

R/C/LThe Rath - Protected area around hill where Culdees worked and lived.

C Deer and White Horse - and Daire also hill of Armagh.

C Broken Spear under ‘Ferdomnagh’ foot, symbolising the faith replacing the pagan tradition and or good over evil.

Other symbols or figures are as follows;


(Top) Patriarchal Cross

Left & right

Peacocks and symbols of ‘the True Vine’ in which we are one representing communion and eternal life.

Alpha and Omega symbolising God the beginning and the end.


Four Symbols of the Gospels

All these to represent the coming of Christ and are based on The Book of Kells illustrations.

Left Hand Window

St Brendan - The great voyager to spreading the faith beyond these shores.

Scribe at Work  - (to symbolise education)

St Patrick - Blessing the faithful beside the stone cross on slope of hill. (the ridge of swallows)

The present day Cathedral is a symbol the continuity of present day faith with the dove of the Holy Spirit above.

Right Hand Window

St Bride - Instigator of learning in Kildare also linked to farming, symbol of the role then and today of women in church.

Monks in daily devotion.

St Columbia – Standing on Iona looks back to Ireland (story of pet crane).

St Patrick’s Bell - The Book of Armagh and the staff (Bachal Isa) – symbols of the importance of Armagh as a centre of Christian education and faith

Bottom 3 Section- Cross left and right from Book of Kells with ‘Chi Rho’ (centre section) which means of Christ. This has been used to symbolise the birth of Christianity and hence the celebration of the third Millennium of the Christian era.