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The three-light window at the Vincentian church of St. Peters’ at Phibsborough was commissioned by Fr. Comerford in 1918. At that time St. Peters’ was home to the Arch-Confraternity of the Sacred Heart in Dublin. In 1919 Harry spent almost the entire months of May, July and August working on the Phibsborough commission. He completed the window on August 28th (Harry Clarke Papers, Pocket diary: 1919). The original tracery lights were sadly destroyed in 1972. When the church was renovated in 1999 the window was incorporated into the design of the new Chapel of Adoration.
The tracery lights are illuminated with glowing, rainbowed hues. The main tracery light is inscribed thus: Behold This Heart Which Hath So Loved Men. The top panel of the first light depicts St. Brigid dressed in blue, white and green robes, holding a church. In the next panel Jesus is attired in decorative scarlet and gold robes.
The main panels depict Saint Margaret Mary who was a devotee of the Sacred Heart. Many saints are depicted in miniature at either side of Saint Margaret Mary.
The centre of the lower light depicts Jesus, with Saint Margaret Mary, healing the sick.
The top panel of the second light depicts Jesus on the cross, surrounded by six spectacular borders in lilac, gold, blue, red and green. The main panels depict the Sacred Heart resplendent in a robe of many shades of red, magenta and purple, adorned with gold. The lower panel depicts the Risen Lord. This exquisite panel of Christ is painted in the art deco style, with Christ’s body being cleverly depicted in cruciform.
The top panel of the third light depicts Saint Patrick holding a glowing shamrock.
The main panels of the third light depict St. John Eudes who founded the Society of the Priests of Jesus and Mary. He is depicted in profile, attired in spectacular robes. Several miniature saints are depicted near the borders of the light.
In the centre of the lower panel, Jesus is depicted beside one of his disciples. The window is signed H. Clarke Aug. 1919, in the third light, beside Saint Cecilia, above the lower panel.
Photos Michael Cullen 2009 and Text by Lucy Costigan 2009