This silver sanctuary lamp was made in 1867 by Hubert Esser of Weert in Holland. It was presented to St Peter's in 1990. The lamp was cleaned and repaired in 2013 by F.J. Rocca of Carlton, when it was converted from oil-burning to holding a long-lasting candle.
During the restoration, an inscription on the lower boss was revealed. This has been transcribed as:
A reasonably free translation of this reads:
It would appear that this sanctuary lamp was dedicated in a community of nuns led by the Mother General, Marie Joseph. Unfortunately, the inscription is not dated, and it is not clear where this community was. There was an Irish Nun, Mother Marie Joseph Butler (1860-1940). who was made Mother General, Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Roman Catholic Church, in America in 1926. The 25th anniversary of her founding of a school in Tarrytown, New York, would have been in 1932, when she was already Mother General, and Founder's Day of the school that year might have been the occasion of the dedication of the lamp, although we have no firm evidence of this. It is suggestive, however, that members of this community refer to each other as 'Daughters of Marymount', which would explain the use of the Latin filiae, 'daughters', rather than 'sisters' which one might expect were the lamp dedicated by a religious order to their Mother General.
Previous | Index | Next