St. Michael's and St. John's Roman Catholic Parish, Dublin

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

St. Michael's and St. John's parish comprises the Protestant parishes of St. Michael, St. John, St. Nicholas Within, and St. Werburgh, and parts of those of St. Peter, St. Andrew, and St. Bride. The duty is performed by a parish priest and five officiating clergymen. The chapel, situated in Exchange-street and erected in 1815, has two fronts of hewn stone in the later English style: the exterior is of elegant design, and in the interior, which is richly embellished, are three altars; over each respectively are paintings of the Crucifixion, of St. John the Evangelist by Del Frate, and of St. Michael trampling on Satan, a copy from Guido; its fine organ, made by Lawless, cost £800. It contains a handsome monument to Dr. Betagh, a celebrated preacher, who died in 1811, and another to the Rev. Dr. Anglen; at one end are six confessionals of elegant design and beautiful workmanship. The chapel was erected between 1813 and 1816, at a cost of nearly £10,000, which was defrayed by subscription. Attached to it is a house for the residence of the clergymen, containing 20 spacious apartments with a corridor to each story; the cost of its erection was about £2000, and it was completed in the short space of two months and eight days.

A chapel in Whitefriar-street belongs to the order of Calced Carmelites; the inmates are a provincial, a prior, and six friars, whose residence is in an adjoining house in Aungier-street. The chapel has its front to Whitefriar-street: the interior presents a beautiful architectural view; the right side has a range of large windows, and the left is ornamented with corresponding niches, filled with statues of eminent saints; the ceiling is coved and divided into rectangular compartments; its erection cost £4000. It stands on the site of a Carmelite church founded in 1274, upon land granted by Sir Robert Bagot.

The remains of St. Valentinus, martyr, have been translated from Rome by order of Pope Gregory XVI., and are deposited in this chapel in a suitable vase. Another, which is a cruciform structure, situated on Merchants'-quay, belongs to the order of Franciscans; the inmates are a prior and six friars. It is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisium, but is more generally known by the name of Adam and Eve, from an ancient chapel of that name on the site of which the present building was erected. When finished it will exhibit the ceiling divided into enriched panels; the interior ornamented with pilasters, supporting an enriched cornice of granite, over which the windows are placed; there are three elegant and commodious galleries, capable of holding 1500 persons; the altar will be constructed in the most florid style of Corinthian architecture: an Ionic portico is to front the river.

In Smock-alley are parochial schools for both sexes, in connection with the National Board of Education, at which 600 children attend; also an evening and Sunday school, and two orphan schools, one for boys and the other for girls, 20 of each, who are wholly provided for and apprenticed; all these are supported by subscription, a grant from the National Board, an annual sermon, and the profits of an annual bazaar. A society was founded in Smock-alley in 1817, called "The Society of St. John the Evangelist," for administering to the spiritual and temporal wants of the sick, and for the suppressing abuses at wakes; a library is in connection with it. Near Tullow is the establishment of the Orphan Society of St. Francis of Assisium, founded in 1817, in which 24 children are supported. St. Peter's, St. Patrick's, St. Bonaventure's, and the county and city Cholera Orphan Societies are all in this parish; they are chiefly supported by subscriptions and sermons; as is also the Catholic Society for Ireland, for the gratuitous distribution of religious books, established in 1836.

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