Monday, May 13 2013

Lore: Ealing Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of the Nativity of Our Lady, commonly known as Ealing Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Ealing, west London. It is the seat of the Bishop of Ealing and mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ealing, which covers most of the western boroughs of London as well as parts of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. It was opened in 1882, raised to the rank of a minor basilica in 1889 by Pope Leo XIII and raised to cathedral status in 1901. During World War II, the cathedral suffered extensive damage from German bombs, especially to the famous Archangel Windows of the St. Michael chapel, and it was reopened only in 1956. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI both visited the cathedral during their state visits to the United Kingdom.

The Archangel Windows, originally designed by Phillip Sevy and recreated by Thomas Buchanan, are one of the most distinctive elements of the cathedral. There are seven windows, above and around the altar of the St. Michael chapel, one of three in the north transept. Each of the windows depicts one of the archangels of Catholic tradition. From left to right (whilst facing the altar), they are Barachiel, Uriel, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Ofaniel and Sariel.