Belvedere has presented the Irish Province with an extraordinary book – a record of all Jesuits who have served in the school since its foundation in 1832. The book was crafted with the finest materials and the records were written up in beautiful calligraphy.
Jesuit Provincial Fr. John Dardis was presented with a hand-written manuscript by the Board of Management of Belvedere College as a testament to the legacy of the Jesuits to Belvedere since 1832. The presentation took place on Friday 19th May in Belvedere College.
The manuscript is in the format of a book and contains a vellum page for every year of Jesuit service there. It includes the names of all priests, brothers, and scholastics in the college from 1832 until the present day and it notes their professional duties. This information, recorded originally in Latin in the annual calendars of the Jesuit Order in Ireland, has been translated into English for the book, which was beautifully hand-written in italic script by two calligraphers.
The manuscript, which also has hand-drawn illustrations, was bound in Mucros Conservation Binding in Kerry in a fine leather archival calfskin binding. According to Fiona Fitzsimons, who managed the project for Eneclann, “We took the view that we were creating a historical artefact, using some of the best craftsmanship and the finest hand-made materials available in this country”.
“The manuscript is a fitting testament of recognition and thanks to the Jesuits for their long years of hard work and dedication to the school and its pupils,” according to Mr Gerard Foley, Headmaster of Belvedere. “The book itself is also a work of art and a testament to some ancient and very beautiful crafts hard-hit by this technological era.”
Belvedere College is one of Dublin’s best-known schools, producing such famous pupils as James Joyce, Kevin Barry, Ollie Campbell, Tony O Reilly, Cardinal Desmond Connell, former Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald, and Fr John Dardis, Irish Jesuit Provincial.