An imposing nineteenth century granite Church, St Joseph’s, in Dublin’s inner city is the setting for a Flower Festival in honour of the Spanish saint, St Theresa of Avila, born 500 years ago.
This Gothic Revival Church is known for its ornate interior and many shrines but the current display of flowers is spectacular and well worth a visit. The Church is opposite Ireland’s main hospital, the Mater Misericordiae (mentioned by Buck Mulligan in Joyce’s “Ulysses”) and is often a welcome retreat for families of patients.
The idea for the Flower Festival came from the parishioners and was funded and created by them and is incredibly impressive in so many of its details,
from the bold arrangements on the many shrines and altars,
to intricate detailing like minute dangling flower vases,
and the colourful mosaics reflected in the arrangements.
Garlands and hanging baskets hang from the Choir loft,
which overlooks the polished aisle and bedecked altar.
What I loved was the individuality of each arrangement, the choice of flowers and colours.
But what I liked most of all was the lack of commercialism – this was the initiative of those living in the area, who raised the funds and made the displays and water them daily; who do it for the sheer joy it brings for them and for their visitors. Entrance is free.
Good to see Dublin’s inner city community spirit alive and thriving.