Church of St John the Baptist - Murragh and Templemartin Parish

Church of St John the Baptist, Newcestown
Foundation stone laid on 23 June 1872 (located over main door)
Dedicated on 26 June 1876 (according to inscription on window over altar)
The feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist falls between the two days — on 24 June
• Baptismal font: where Edward Galvin was baptised on 24 November 1882, the day after
his birth.
• Baptistery: The font was originally placed in the room under the tower, now a prayer room,
but originally a baptistery, as the window in the room illustrates. This depicts the baptism of
Jesus by St John the Baptist and was donated by Fr Jeremiah Cummins in 1875:
‘to the Glory of God and in memory of his deceased parents Matthias and Elisabeth’.
Fr Cummins’ mortal remains are placed on the outside of the church, but directly under this
window. He died on 23 July 1892.
• The St John Window (over altar): The inscription at the foot of the window reads:
To the Glory of God to commemorate the dedication of this church on Sunday 26th June 1876 by the Right
Revd William Delany Bishop of Cork assisted by the late Right Rev d David Moriarty who preached the
opening sermon. This window, given by friends named John and by others in memory of departed relatives of
that name, was erected at the instance of the Rev d. Jermiah Cummins P.P. AD 1878.
The Golden Jubilee year of the Bishop of the Diocese.
Who is the main figure in the window? Three clues are given in the window itself.
1. The Latin words at the foot of the window:
Vox clamatis in deserto: parate viam Domini: rectas facite semitas eius
This Latin sentence is a quotation from the prophet Isaiah, chapter 40, verse 3, which
A voice cries in the desert: prepare the way of the Lord, make his path straight!
These words are quoted at the start of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1:3) and are always
interpreted to refer to John the Baptist (see also Matthew 3:3).
2. The main figure carries a banner with the words:
Poenitentium agite
This means Repent or Do Penance, and is John the Baptist’s key message, (see Matthew 3:2).
3. In addition, John points with his right index finger to the image of the Lamb of God in the
top left circular panel. This is described in St John’s gospel (chapter 1, verse 29):
Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, “Look, there is the lamb of God that takes
away the sins of the world ……
So, though three saints called John are represented in the window (John the apostle,
under the cross at the top of the window, John the evangelist, symbolized by an eagle at
the bottom right and John the Baptist) the window principally honours John the Baptist,
in whose name the church is dedicated .
— Information sheet prepared by Bernard Cotter PP for the Historical Tour organised by the
Pastoral Council, as part of the Gathering Festival at Newcestown, 24 August 2013.