A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Pompallier Madonna

The Pompallier Madonna is a painting of the Blessed Virgin brought to Rome from Byzantium (modern-day Istanbul) by the nuns of the Immaculate Conception in the Campus Martius in the year 750.

It was given to Bishop Pompallier by Pope Pius IX when the bishop visited Rome in 1847 and the bishop brought it to New Zealand.

Bishop Lenihan, the fifth Bishop of Auckland, gave the painting to Fr Keogh, the second rector of St Patrick’s College Wellington.

The painting seems to have disappeared in the early 1930s and was re-discovered in 1942, after which it was displayed in the room of one of the priests at the College, and later in a display case.

A lithograph of the Madonna was made in 1960, from which 20,000 copies were made at a cost of £137.

The Pompallier Madonna was stolen from St Patrick’s College in 1978 and has not been recovered.

Thanks to Society of Mary NZ Archives for the information above, and for the copy of the painting from which the front cover was produced.


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