News archive 2019

Over 100 people to undertake 100km three-day camino in honour of Saint Oliver Plunkett

Media diary notice for Sunday 7 July 2019 

Over 100 people to undertake 100km three-day camino in honour of Saint Oliver Plunkett

You, or a representative, are invited to attend the celebration of Mass by Archbishop Eamon Martin which will open the triduum of prayer across the Archdiocese of Armagh in honour of the martyred Saint Oliver Plunkett. The Mass will be dedicated to the annual procession of the holy relics of Saint Oliver Plunkett, as well as commemorating the 350th anniversary of his appointment as Archbishop of Armagh. Following the Mass, over 100 people are expected undertake a three-day, 100 kilometre, camino pilgrimage from Drogheda to Armagh which will culminate in the unveiling of a statue of Saint Oliver Plunkett in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, on Tuesday evening. Details:

What Launch of three-day, 100 kilometre, camino pilgrimage from Drogheda to Armagh to culminate in the unveiling of a statue of Saint Oliver Plunkett
When Following Mass at 4.00pm tomorrow, Sunday, 8 July 2019
Where Saint Peter’s Church, Drogheda, Co Louth, in the Archdiocese of Armagh

Notes for Editors

· Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore and Primate of All Ireland.

· Background: Last November on ‘Red Wednesday’, in the context of commemorating those who have been persecuted in the name of Christianity, Archbishop Martin signalled his intention to honour martyrs of the past, present and future by erecting a statue in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, of the last resident Irish bishop who was put to death for witnessing the faith: Saint Oliver Plunkett. In the following month, December 2018, Archbishop Martin travelled to Batnaya in Iraq, and met with Archbishop Bashar Warda in Erbil, to hear about and see at first hand the devastation that has been wrought upon Christians in that region.

· The statue of Saint Oliver Plunkett was commissioned by Archbishop Martin and has been cast in bronze by Dublin-sculptor Dony McManus. The seven-foot high statue depicts Saint Oliver in the final moments of his earthly life. The saint is cast in Ecce Homo pose with his hands bound behind his back gently clasping the martyr’s palm, which trails down to the archbishop’s pallium, making it clear that Saint Oliver’s martyrdom is connected with his episcopacy. This is depicted in an even more dramatic manner at the front of the statue by the noose and the pectoral cross. The sculptor has carefully captured the reality that Saint Oliver offered himself into martyrdom for the faith and this is shown in the facial features, depicting a man of courage and holiness, of flesh and blood.

· Saint Oliver Plunkett (1 November 1625 – 1 July 1681) was the Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. He maintained his duties in Ireland in the face of persecution and was eventually arrested and tried for treason in London. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 1 July 1681, and became the last Catholic martyr to die in England. Oliver Plunkett was beatified in 1920 and canonised by Saint Pope Paul VI in 1975, and became the first new Irish saint for almost seven hundred years.

ENDS

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444.

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