Main Entrance

The original front door of St Patrick’s Cathedral was a double-arched doorway with a pillar dividing it. This was removed before 1868. Its replacement was considered too narrow for ceremonial processions, and it too was replaced by the present doorway in 1939.

The door is 3.65m wide and 4.87m high, with three column recessed and carved jambs. Its Gothic arch is crowned by a panelled, moulded and carved gable finished with a carved cross. Buttresses support the gables and these are topped with carved pinnacles and quatrefoil-panelled side parapets.

The original gable was replaced in 1974 by a carving of the Papal Coat of Arms when Pope Paul VI conferred the title and dignity of Minor Basilica on the Cathedral.

The archway is filled with a bronze tracery grill featuring St Patrick, with St Brigid and St Columba on either side. In the space between and above are the monograms of the Holy Name (IHS) and of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM). It also features four angels and eight shields bearing symbols of the Old and the New Testaments: Noah’s ark, the brazen serpent and the instruments of the Passion, the chalice and host, and Christ as the Lamb.

On the panels of the gates of the grill are the coats of arms of Pope Pius XII (who was the reigning pontiff when the additions were installed) and of the first three archbishops of Melbourne.

Candles - available left and right to you on your way into the Cathedral for a gold coin donation.

1 John 1:5 "This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all."

A tradition in many Catholic Churches is to light a candle as a symbol of your prayer or petition either for oneself or for someone in need of prayer.

At St Patrick’s Cathedral taper candles are available to be lit and placed in the candle stands on either side of the main entrance of the Church. They are on the right and left side of the grand doors immediately in front of the second millenium Icons of Jesus Christ – the Alpha and the Omega, yesterday, today and forever with Our Lady, his mother as well as the Mother of the Church who is presenting her Son to us as 'the light of the world'. You are asked to place a gold coin donation into the wall box provided for candle donations.