History: Papal and Episcopal Medallions

episcopal medallions

A conventionalized panel among the dome murals is dominated and concluded by cherubs, graceful allegorical figures in low relief. In the medallion frieze beneath each border are busts of the bishops under whom the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary came into existence and expanded, beginning with Venerable Bishop John Neumann, who brought the Congregation to Pennsylvania. Portraits of the Popes of the period of the history of the Congregation are painted below the murals. Four popes and four bishops are represented, the bishops besides Bishop Neumann being Bishop O'Hara, Bishop Hoban and Bishop O'Reilly. All these bishops have enriched the Community with spiritual, material, and artistic gifts. Bishop Hoban and Bishop O'Reilly especially have contributed largely to the College, of which the foundation and establishment is due to their wise counsel and spiritual endowments. Their portraits in the ecclesiastical robes of the bishopric and rose-colored against a gold background, add a note of decorative magnificence in effective contrast to the austere wall space through which the blue, rose and golden frieze is woven.