Questions That Arise
When was the chapel built?
What is the story behind the mural?
What is the meaning and symbolism behind the stain
Is it true that there are people buried in the chapel?
Is there significance behind the floor tiles and the
How long did it take to build?
Why is the lighting so dark in the chapel?
How many people can the church hold?
What else is the chapel used for?
Who created the Stations of the Cross and how were
A History of the Chapel The Mural
The Sisters of Mercy used
pictorial drawings to
capture the historical
flavor of their religious
Created by Rambusch of
New York and
Has the theme of Christ
the King and the Sisters of
Celebrates the Sisters
Parts of the Mural
At the center is a Mosaic
of Christ crowned; at
one side, a panel shows
Christ as the Infant King
in Mary’s arms,
accepting the gifts from
On the other
side, Christ stands
before Pilate and his
accusers. This scene
is when Pilate asks
Christ, “Art thou a
The Sisters’ Mission of
Mercy, both corporal and
spiritual, is shown in the
lower part of the mural. In
the center panel the Sister
clothed in a black habit
represents the teaching arts;
the one in white, the
healing arts; between them,
a young girl represents
On the side panels, another
Sister represents the art of
counseling; and a Sister in
white, caring for a
soldier, recalls the Sisters of
Mercy service in the Civil Wars.
Pope Gregory XVI and
Archbishop John Mark
Gannon, the first chancellor
of Mercyhurst stand behind
the image of the sisters.
Pope Gregory is
holding a book
which has a replica
of the first convent
of the Sisters of
Dublin, Ireland on
The large Lady window takes its
details from an ancient Byzantine
painting where the artist shows
Mary holding her Son who had
fled to her arms after seeing two
angels holding the instruments of
torture which would later be the
agents of His suffering.
The altar of dark marble is and
Italian import, and the crucifix
and candlesticks are of precious
amber glass. Gold-leaf fleur-de-
lis, one of Mary’s
symbols, decorates the walls.
The ceiling is a pattern similar to
the main chapel.
Queen’s Chapel was not part of the original design of the main chapel
structure. It was designed by James O’Neil’s (who the memory the main
chapel is dedicated) wife. Within the Queen’s Chapel it was planned that
Mr. and Mrs. O’Neil and his sisters would be buried. The tombs are
present, but empty.
The chapel is in dedication to Mary, Lady of Perpetual Help
Replica of a medieval chapel in England that Mrs. O’Neil would visit
frequently when she lived there.
Stained Glass Windows in the Chapel
There are seven stained glass windows in Christ the King Chapel detailing
Important Biblical stories and images of Jesus’ life. There are also several
smaller windows and a large window in Queen’s Chapel.
Stations of the Cross
The Chapel holds 14 beautiful mosaics of the stations of the cross
along the walls. They were created by an artist from Cuba. They
were painted and then covered in glass to depict the passion of
Other Artistic Media in the Chapel
Icon Image of Mary and Tapestry hanging on wall Statue of Mary located in
Jesus of Chapel front of the alter.
We are all practicing Catholics and we found
the art work in this chapel beautiful. The
symbolism was done very creatively as well.
We found a deeper connection once learning
the history behind the mural. This chapel was
not only connected to us via our faith but also
as apart of our school history. The chapel
reminded us all of the times we used to go to
mass and celebrate holidays and sacraments as
Line of Inquiry
How does Christ the King
Chapel incorporate a variety
of artistic media to create an
environment with a historical
background of Mercyhurst
Create own mosaic/stain glass window using tissue paper
Use mosaic website to create a picture of themselves
Each student can pick one art piece in the chapel
(window, statue, Station of the cross, etc.) and write a story
Using the altar mural as inspiration the students will create
a story of their life (past, present, and future), they will
include their goals in life, significant people and events, and
anything they feel is important using only drawings and