St Nicholas of Myra Church, Francis Street

The site of the present church began as a Franciscan friary in 1235, hence the name Francis Street. Suppressed by Henry VIII, it re-emerged in penal times as Dublin's metropolitan Catholic Church. The archbishops often lived here. Up until the late 19th century it formed one parish with the Isle of Man.

Matthew Flanagan was the dynamic priest who organised the present building. It is designed by John Leeson, begun in 1829 and opened in 1834.The Ionic portico, bell- tower and cupola were added in 1860, the work of Patrick Byrne. A plaque of Father Flanagan is visible high up on the bell-tower.

Inside, above the high altar, tabernacle and cupola is a beautiful Pieta, the work of famous Cork sculptor John Hogan. The sanctuary ceiling is splendidly decorated with a circle of the 12 apostles and in the corners, the four fathers of the Western Church. The ceiling of the nave is decorated with Celtic designs and Christian symbols. Two panels are noteworthy - one showing the Isle of Man coat of arms, the other commemorating the founding of the Legion Mary in nearby Myra Hall in 1921. There are two communion rails - an interesting relic of 19th century social stratification. The better-off came in the side doors, paid three pence, occupied the front seats and took communion at the altar. The less well-off, came in the back door, paid a penny and took communion half way down the church. Splendid that the ample sanctuary space created for the restored liturgy is so tastefully done in pinks and whites and is located between these two rails!

A Nuptial Chapel off the south transept has a fine Harry Clarke window of the Marriage of Our Lady and St Joseph. The statues of Our Lady,

Paddy Duffy