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Saint Francis Xavier Church, Dublin

St Francis Xavier Church
St Francis Xavier Church Dublin
Eaglais Naoimh Phroinsias Xavier
St. Francis Xavier Church, Dublin.JPG
St Francis Xavier Church is located in Central Dublin
St Francis Xavier Church
St Francis Xavier Church
53°21′28″N 6°15′36″W / 53.357892°N 6.259949°W / 53.357892; -6.259949
LocationUpper Gardiner Street, County Dublin
DenominationRoman Catholic
Religious orderSociety of Jesus
DedicationFrancis Xavier
Consecrated3 May 1832
Architect(s)Fr Bartholomew Esmonde SJ & Joseph B. Keane
Architectural typeChurch
Groundbreaking2 July 1829
ParishGardiner Street Parish
DeaneryNorth City Centre

Saint Francis Xavier Church, popularly known as Gardiner Street Church, is a Roman Catholic Church on Upper Gardiner Street, near Mountjoy Square. The church is run by the Jesuits.


Designed by Father Bartholomew Esmonde SJ and erected by the architect Joseph B. Keane as a Classical cut granite stone essay, the first stone was laid on 2 July 1829, the year of Catholic Emancipation. The church was opened on 3 May 1832, though the parish website says "The High Altar ... was designed and assembled in Rome by Fr. B. Esmonde ... who with Mr John B. Keane was the architect of the church". Architectural critic Christine Casey describes it in her book, Dublin, as "the most elegant church of the period in Dublin".[1] The building is known for its collection, sculpted altar piece, and paintings, mostly Italian in origin and dating from the Victorian period. The design of St Francis Xavier Church reflects Father B. Esmonde's knowledge of the temples of Italy acquired during his residency there.[2]

In 1889 the funeral was held here for the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

The church features in James Joyce's short story "Grace" from Dubliners and in the 1991 film The Commitments where the church organ is used to play A Whiter Shade of Pale.[3]

The Latin text on the pediment reads, DEO UNI ET TRINO SUB INVOC S FRANCISCI XAVERII which translates in English as, "to God one and Three under the invocation of St Francis Xavier".[4]

The remains of the Blessed John Sullivan are enshrined in the church.[5]


See also


  1. ^ Casey, Christine (2005). Dublin: The Buildings of Ireland (Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of Ireland). Yale University Press.
  2. ^ Cosgrove, Dillon (1909). "North Dublin: City and Environs", MH Gill and Sons, ch4, ch8
  3. ^ "Film locations for The Commitments (1991)". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  4. ^ Pierce, David (2008). "Reading Joyce", Pearson Education Limited, p174
  5. ^ "Fr John Sullivan". Gardiner Street Parish. Retrieved 8 December 2018.

External links