2Relaxed yet intent, Edmund is a compelling figure, his compassionate eyes reaching to the horizon. Enfolding Edmund’s head is a dramatic intimation of the beginning that never was and the ending that shall never be. It is expressed in the spiral, the ancient Celtic symbol of divinity/infinity.
3Mary’s position in the icon suggests her special place in Edmund’s life. In a daring transformation of the traditional, the artist depicts Jesus looking directly at Edmund.
4God the Father is symbolised in a great wheeling circle afire with the flame of love. Edmund is enveloped in the mystery of the Trinity, above him the Father, beside him the Son, within him the Holy Spirit.
5The Presentation of Mary - through Nano Nagle, this mystery influenced Edmund greatly. Mary, the finest flower of the Old Testament, moves towards her destiny within the oval-shaped aureole - symbol of virginity and holiness.The seven-branch candle stickA text which touched Edmund deeply is on the open Scriptures.
6Edmund’s left hand caresses his disabled daughter, Mary, and draws her close to him. She is a central figure in the mystery and meaning of brokenness and suffering.
7With his right hand, Edmund extends his fatherliness beyond his family to a distressed boy who represents a multitude of poor, illiterate and disadvantaged children.
8Edmund’s work is the work of God as shown by the wounded hands of Christ.
9Edmund gives food and clothes to the Waterford students
10Edmund helps those in prison and those condemned to die - his compassionate response to human need and human tragedy.Truly he opened his whole heart to Christ present and appealing to him in the poor.
11There is darkness in the icon in the malevolent spirit - shown in the bird of prey half-eagle, half-ravenwhich hangs threateningly over the goodness of the people and their land.
12And there is fear, too -the serpent symbolises the power of evil.
13Edmund’s whose life is filled with God The Father - the spiralThe Son - the heartThe Spirit - the dovesAnd the aspiration:Live Jesus in our hearts forever.
14Edmund has a close affinity with St Teresa of Avila, both in his spirituality and in his practical bent. She is shown with one of her writings, The Interior Castle.At her shoulder are her symbols for God and His action - mountains, rain and river.
15Nano Nagle and Edmund were almost spiritual twins. Nano was the foundress of the Presentation Sisters.The lantern she carries is the symbol of her great charity.She and Edmund were mother and father to the poor.
16Below Nano is the symbol of the heart of Christ, its spirals signifying the spiritual energy of the risen Christ and encompassing the Cross.
17Jesus is the Lamb of God - an image of serenity and sacrifice
18The scene of the family Rosary, a traditional and rich Irish devotion, shows Margaret Rice, Edmund’s mother, leading her children in prayer.The ever-present divinity spiral moves through the family circle.
19Religious living and sharing happily together. Community life was a significant value for Edmund.An old Irish proverb comes to mind: “It is in the shelter of one another that people live.”
20Mount Sion, the first school built and still in use today
21Edmund’s love for Christ in the Eucharist Here Edmund is in prayer before the living God.
22The six stars represent the six companions who took vows with Edmund to become religious brothers on 15th August 1808
23Edmund and his wife, Mary Mary is one significant person not represented in the icon.