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DescriptionA McHarp cast stone Irish Celtic cross based on Slane Abbey Cross, County Meath, Ireland.
On the high hill at the village of Slane, St. Patrick announced the arrival of Christianity to pagan Ireland with the lighting of the first Easter fire in 433 AD. A monastery was built on the Hill of Slane in the 6th century, but little is known about it. The ruins atop the hill today are remains of a Franciscan Friary which was ravaged in turn by Vikings, Normans and finally, Cromwell's troops.
This cross design was inspired by a cross at the present-day ruins at Slane. The outer ring of the Celtic cross is thought to represent eternal life in heaven, and the center of the cross is the sacred heart of Jesus, surrounded by rays of light. The small circular "bosses" of spirals represent spiritual growth and the ongoing search for spiritual fulfillment.
The shamrocks are especially appropriate for a cross from Slane, as legend tells us it was Saint Patrick who plucked a small shamrock growing near his feet to explain the idea of the Trinity to his follwers-- three distinct leaves but all in one plant. Along the side of this cross are the words of a traditional Irish blessing "May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks."
Cast in the USA by McHarp-- the mother-daughter team of Ruth McKay and Linda Harp. Linda has a masters degree in anthroplogy, and Ruth has an extensive background in art and sculpture. Each cross is inspired by an actual carved stone cross in Ireland.
The piece is first carved in clay, and then a mold is taken from the carving. The molds are used to cast the crosses in a durable stone-like material, and the pieces are then stained and sealed several times to achieve the final finish. The cross comes with an attached wire hanger on the back, and is ready to be displayed indoors or outdoors in sheltered areas.
8.5 inches high by 4 inches wide. Lovely weight and feel (somewhere between ceramic and stone).
To see a larger view, please click on the image.