In Thurles the disciples were first called Jesuits
The late Archbishop Tom Morris loved showing his cathedral in Thurles to visiting Jesuits because of its links with the Society. Kevin Laheen SJ remembers one such meeting, when Tom remarked that if the early followers of Christ had not been called Christians, they should have been called Jesuits. The most visible Jesuit connection is the great tabernacle (pictured here), which was once part of the Gesu church in Rome. It was the work of Giacoma della Porto, a pupil of Michelangelo and one of the architects of St Peter’s Basilica. When the Gesu was renovated in the mid 19th century, the tabernacle was sold to Archbishop Leahy of Thurles, and it rested on the main altar of Thurles Cathedral until the 1970s, when a special tabernacle altar was erected.