December 26, 2014

1376 AUSTRALIA (Victoria) - Virgin and Child in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne

On October 31, 2014 Australia Post has issued, as in every year, a series of stamps and also a set of maxicards to celebrate Christmas. The set contains five stamps, divided into two distinct categories, in fact two themes. Four of the stamps, festive and colourful, represent the familiar trappings and sentiments of Christmas celebration and recall techniques of paper cut design as well as snow crystals. The other two have a religious theme, being based on stained-glass windows in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne. The windows depicted on the stamps are in the Ladye Chapel situated in the chevet of the cathedral and show scenes from the Life of the Virgin, including the Nativity of Christ and the Flight into Egypt. Nearly all the windows, fitted to the chapel in 1892, were manufactured by the English company Hardman and Co. They were restored between 1992 and 1997, the teams of stonemasons and stained-glass craftsmen using "lime mortars and materials long-forgotten by the building trade - like medieval times."

Designed by architect William Wardell in the Gothic style of early 14th century, based on the great medieval cathedrals of England, and consecrated in 1897, the bluestone cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne was dedicated to Saint Patrick, the patron saint of  Ireland, because the Catholic community of the city was at the time almost entirely Irish. The plan is in the style of a Latin cross, consisting of a nave with side aisles, transepts with side aisles, a sanctuary with seven chapels, and sacristies. Although its 103.6m length is marginally shorter than that of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, St Patrick's has the distinction of being both the tallest (105m height) and, overall, the largest church building in Australia.

St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne - Wikipedia

Sender: Heather Massese
Sent from Perth (Western Australia), on 02.10.2012
Photo: Michael Laurie

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