fordham University

forham church

The three paintings on the reredos represent Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces, patroness of the University Church, enthroned and surrounded by saints. The altar panels were painted by Hildreth Meiere. Meiere (1892-1961), a native New Yorker, was at the time the best known artist of murals and mosaics in the United States. Her work includes the design of the Lady Altar at St. Patrick's Cathedral and the crypt mosaics in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The three altar panels in the Fordham University Church were said to be "designed to impress the undergraduates with several important truths. They emphasize the fact that great saints can be women as well as men; laymen as well as religious; Popes, Cardinals and Lord Chancellors, as well as simple friars; that wisdom and scholarship have characterized the Church in every age and every land, and finally, that the oriental churches are a treasured part of our cultural and spiritual heritage." In the center panel, beside the Virgin Mary are (l. to r.): St. Joseph, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. John the Baptist, St. Genevieve, St. Isaac Jogues and St. Patrick. The two side panels feature twelve saints identified with university study. In the left panel, front row (l. to r.): St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J., St. Basil the Great, and St. Thomas More; and in the back row (l. to r.): St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Peter Canisius, S.J., and St. Augustine of Hippo. In the right panel, front row (l. to r.): St. Bede the Venerable, St. Edmund Campion, S.J., St. John Chrysostom, and back row (l. to r.) St. Gregory the Great, O.S.B., St. Columba of Iona and St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P.

                                   Credits: Carolyn Farrar (text); James Hentges, O.S.C. (editor) 2008
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