Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday - Stations of the Cross - My Ancestor's Gift

The Eleventh Station - XI
 Jesus is nailed to the cross.

We adore You, O Christ,
and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross
You have redeemed the world.
As today is Good Friday I have decided to feature a photograph of one of the Stations of the Cross at the main Catholic Church in my Parish.

"The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make in spirit, as it were, a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death, and this has become one of the most popular of Catholic devotions. It is carried out by passing from Station to Station, with certain prayers at each and devout meditation on the various incidents in turn." (Source: New Advent Catholic Enyclopedia). 

The particular Station featured in the photograph is the eleventh (XI) Station: 'Jesus is nailed to the cross'. 

This Station was donated to the Church by my Great Great Grandfather, Michael O'BRIEN (c1833-1925) who was a very devout Catholic. There is a small plaque at the bottom of the Station which states that it was the 'Gift of Mr. M. O'Brien'. Such plaques feature in many Churches to acknowledge donations, and often act as a special reminder to remember the donor in prayer. Sometimes items are donated in memory of departed loved loves. All the other Stations in this particular Church, as well as many of the stained glassed windows, featured the  'gift of ....' acknowledgement. It is a great idea to visit the Church where your ancestor worshiped to see if he or she donated any items.

Michael O'BRIEN was born c1833 in County Armagh, Ireland, the son of Owen BREEN and Bridget FINEGAN.  It is believed Michael came to Australia in the 1850s. With a name as common as 'Michael O'BRIEN' it is a bit hard to determine which Michael O'BRIEN is he from the many listed on passenger lists of the time. There is also the likelihood he came out here under the name 'Michael BREEN'. Two of Michael's brothers (Thomas and John Joseph) and one of his sisters (Margaret Bridget) also immigrated to Australia. His sister Mary and brother Hugh remained in Ireland. 

Michael O'Brien (c1833-1925) and
his wife Eliza (nee Carew) (c1846-1924).
Michael married Eliza CAREW on the 29th of January, 1865, at St Francis' Catholic Church, Melbourne. They had a least eight children: Helena, Owen, Thomas, Mary, Michael, John, Elizabeth and Donald. Michael was blind for much of his later life. The story is that he was blinded in an accident while blasting rock in the early 1870s. I hope someday to locate newspaper reports of this accident if they exist. You can read more about my O'BRIEN ancestors here

I hope that everyone has a safe and peaceful Easter. God bless.
Copyright © 2011 Australian Genealogy Journeys.


  1. Great work on your web site Aillin. I am guessing the "Gift of M. O'brien" is in St Joseph Church. I love the photo of Michael and Eliza! I'll link this page from mine.
    Regards, Jack

    1. Thanks Jack. You've done a great job with your Watson web site also. Yes, the stations of the cross are from St Josephs. Thanks again, Aillin.


Your comments are appreciated. Thanks.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...