School Symbols

​​​​​​​The Lantern

lantern.jpgThe lantern has become the symbol of the transformative nature of the Spirit at work in the life of Nano Nagle and her followers. It symbolises light in the darkness of fear, ignorance and despair; hope in the face of overpowering injustice and oppression; and the power of small acts of human kindness against the tide of poverty and neglect.  You will see the symbol of the Lantern as you enter the office and in many of the classrooms around the school.

Icon of Nano Nagle

Foundress of Presentation Sisters 1718- 1784

Nano-Nagle-Icon.jpgThis was a gift to St John Vianney’s Primary, Manly, from the Presentations Sisters at Manly. This icon hangs in the Nano Nagle Centre. Below is a description of the symbolic meaning for each panel.

Left Side Panel

  1. Nano’s devotion to the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament.
  2. The cramped cabin schools of 1766-1771.
  3. Symbols of Penal days in Ireland.
  4. The skilful lawyer, Joseph Nagle, helps his niece, Nano, to negotiate the dangerous time during which she worked for the people of Cork.
  5. Nano makes her way, by the light of the lantern, through the lanes and alleyways of the city.
  6. The Fleur de Lys and the Cork coat-of-arms signify Ireland’s links with France at that period. It also is a symbol of Nano’s link with the French Ursuline sisters.   The mitre illustrates Bishop Moylan’s support for Nano and her Sisters.

Centre Panel

This icon portrays Nano Nagle as eternally young.  It is a picture about life, in particular spiritual life. The great spiral encircling Nano’s head stands for God the Father.

The arms of Christ sweeps downwards behind her and all around her are many wings, passing through her, to become the birdlike shape of the Holy Spirit bearing what we call the seven gifts of the Spirit.

On the wide collar of Nano’s gown is the new symbol of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is Celtic a design.

The downward thrust in the icon symbolises God forever reaching down to God’s people. Through Nano, God brought light and warmth to the people of Cork.

Right Side Panel

  1. The Presentation of Mary to God.  This presentation goes back to the Mosaic law, so we see Mary rising from the mystical Rose of Sharon and the seven-branched candlestick. The Star of David is a symbol of the Incarnation and the small cross in the heart in the elongated spiral signifies the redemption of mankind.
  2. The founding of the Presentation Sisters in Cork, 1775.
  3. Children of many nations are instructed by the Presentations Sisters
  4. A new symbol for the Presentation Sisters. The “M” for Mary contains the hearts of Jesus and Mary, and the oak leaves and acorns suggest the efforts of the Sister for the growth of God’s Kingdom

© Brisbane Catholic Education, St John Vianney's​ 2024​​