PHOTOGRAPHED THROUGH RAILINGS
This statue is at the rear Saint Mary of the Angels Church which is a operated by the Capuchin Friars. If you zoom in you will notice that it is in poor condition.
The name “St. Mary of the Angels” goes back to a little chapel on the outskirts of Assisi called Santa Maria degli Angeli (St. Mary of the Angels) rebuilt by St. Francis. According to local accounts, the church dates back to 364 when Pope Liberius erected this chapel for the Hermits of Josephat. In 516 the Benedictines took possession of the chapel but by the time of St. Francis it was in severe disrepair.
The Capuchin Friars first arrived in Dublin in 1615, but it was not until 1624 that the first friary was established, in Bridge Street. They came to Church Street in 1690, shortly after the Battle of the Boyne and opened a “Mass house” at the site of the present Church. The Mass house was enlarged in 1796. The present Church dates from 1881. The architect was James J.McCarthy. The altar and reredos was designed by James Pearse, the father of Pádraig and Willie Pearse who were executed after the 1916 Rising. It was friars from the Church Street community that attended those executed in 1916 and administered the last rites.
Today the friars serve the local community through parish work and through the Capuchin Day Centre. The Capuchin Mission Office which supports the work of the Irish friars overseas, in Zambia, South Africa, New Zealand and Korea is also located in Church Street. St Mary of the Angels is not a parish church, however, the Friars also have responsibility for Halston Street Parish, one of the oldest in Dublin City Centre.
The friary buildings are associated with neighbouring Saint Mary of the Angels Church to the south designed by J. J. McCarthy. Built by the Capuchin Order, the southern building to Bow Street is now in use as private offices however it retains shared access to the west of the church and maintains much of its early character including sash windows and decorative chimneystack. The single-storey limestone wall to Bow Street, gives the appearance of a boundary wall, displays skilled stonemasonry and, without windows, maintains privacy for the users within. The recent additions to the site, designed by James Ahern Architects, include an oratory, its cylindrical form and lantern adding interest to the varied streetscape of Church Street.