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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 26 February, 2020

Papal Nuncio launches range of religious tiles (yes, tiles) with mystique

They’re not for Garda stations.

Image: Joe Travers

THEY DON’T INDICATE Garda stations. That’s the first thing you need to know about the new tiles launched by the Papal Nuncio today.

Archbishop Charles Brown was in Galway today to launch the new range of blue tiles, which are associated with devotion to the Name of Jesus.

What exactly are these tiles?

The custom of placing an IHS monogram of the name of Jesus over the door of houses was popularised by St Bernardine of Siena in the fifteenth century.

Poor Clare Abbess, Sr Colette explained more:

There’s always been a kind of mystique surrounding the blue tiles and also some peculiar theories as to what they meant. This is a good chance to affirm that they do not indicate Garda stations!

This year, the Franciscans and Poor Clares in Ireland are among those marking the centenary of “a new wave of this devotion” which was started by an Irish Franciscan in 1914.

The tiles are supposed to encourage people “to practice Christian charity and to be peacemakers”, and “invok[e] God’s protection” on those in the house.

Franciscan Fr Francis Cotter said that the Holy Name tiles are a subject of interest “not only from a religious point of view, but also from the perspective of local heritage and social history”.

There’s a catalogue of the tiles available through the new website,, and the tiles are available from Bothar Emmaus Christian Bookshop in Galway, and soon through the website.

Read: New Papal Nuncio among new ambassadors accredited today>

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