September 27, 2014

A Cup fit for a President

As a memento of his visit to Mercy International Centre, President Higgins received a cup and saucer once owned by Catherine McAuley. This gift was presented to the president by his cousin Gabrielle Ryan rsm (Brisbane Congregation). The cup and saucer were accompanied by a carefully prepared card with the following explanation:

'Presented to President Michael D. Higgins
on the occasion of his visit to Mercy International Centre
Baggot St. Dublin'

In her final farewell to her Sisters, Catherine McAuley requested that they “would have a good cup of tea when I am gone.” 
Ever since, in Mercy circles, the ‘cup of tea’ is used as a symbol of hospitality, care and concern for others.
This cup and saucer which date to the early 19th century were used to entertain in Coolock House, the home of her benefactor. 
It was brought by Catherine to Baggot St. when she established the first Mercy Convent.'

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