A Brief History of St. Saviour’s

The Dominicans came to Dublin in 1224, only three years after the death of St. Dominic. The Archbishop of Dublin, Henry de Londres had been present at the Fourth Lateran Council in Rome in 1215, where he may have met St. Dominic and certainly met St. Dominic’s great sponsor, Pope Honorius iii; he likely invited the friars to Dublin where they were given a chapel on the north bank of the Liffey, for the price of one candle a year. For three centuries the Dominicans of St. Saviour’s flourished.

A mark of their popularity among the people is the fact that the feast of St. Dominic was one of only four days in the year when the streets of Dublin had to be cleared of all pigs, which probably means that the feast was marked by a festal market or a religious procession. The medieval Dominicans also took part in the attempted foundation of Dublin’s first university in 1312. The monastery was suppressed by Henry viii in 1539 and the building eventually became what is today The Four Courts.