St. Michael the Archangel
St. Joseph, Husband of Mary
St. Sebastian, Martyr
St. Rose of Lima
St. Pius V
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
Saint Michael the Archangel
The image in this window depicts Saint Michael the Archangel (celebrated on September 29th). In Hebrew, the name Michael means “Who is like God?” and it is said that this name is used by the other angels as a battle cry when fighting the enemy Satan. It is believed that Michael is the prince of all the other Angels. He has been invoked as the patron and protector of the Church since the time of the apostles. Michael is mentioned four times in the Scriptures: In Daniel 10:12 he is referred to as “one of the chief princes;” In Daniel 12, concerning the end of the world it says “at that time Michael the prince shall rise up and fight for the people;” In the Epistle of Jude, verse 9, we read “Even the Archangel Michael, when his case was being judged” (this is a reference to an ancient non-biblical account of a dispute between Michael and Satan); In Revelation 12:7-9 we have the story of the great battle in heaven between Michael with his angels and the dragon who is Satan; these verses read: “Then a war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. Although the dragon and his angels fought back, they were overpowered and lost their place in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent known as the devil or Satan, the seducer of the whole world, was driven out; he was hurled down to earth and his minions with him” (NAB). Many non-scriptural references have been made about the Archangel Michael throughout history by different peoples and cultures; even today he venerated by Jewish, Christian and Islamic people. In this window Michael is shown standing above the slain dragon (a reference to Michael’s triumph over Satan). He holds the sword used to slay the dragon upright in his right hand (notice that the tip of the sword is not within the frame of the panel–indicating that it is actually much longer). He wears the armor of a knight; the shield held with his left hand bears the Latin inscription “Quis ut Deus” which refers to the meaning of his name, “Who is like God?” Michael the Archangel is the patron saint of artists, bakers, bankers, coopers, dying people, fencing, Germany, grocers, hat-makers, holy death, knights, paramedics, paratroopers, police officers, radiologists, sailors, security guards, sick people, soldiers, storms at sea, sword-smiths and watermen.
This window was a gift of the St. Michael Society.
Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary
The image in this window depicts Saint Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary (solemnity celebrated on March 19th; the memorial of Joseph the Worker is observed on May 1st). In the Scriptures, Joseph the carpenter is identified as the son of Jacob, a descendent of Abraham and David. As the adopted son of Joseph, Jesus shares in his lineage. The very first verse of the Gospel of Saint Matthew tells us that Jesus is “the Son of David and the Son of Abraham;” starting with Abraham, and including the great King David, Matthew then gives the names of the fathers of each succeeding generation. The Scriptures tell us that Joseph experienced several visions of angels which guided him and the Holy Family both before and after the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Little else is known of this saint, who has perhaps been one of the most venerated saints throughout all of Christian history. Most notable about Joseph was his enthusiastic and immediate response to the will of God; Joseph never failed his obligation to protect Mary and the infant Jesus. It is believed that Joseph died sometime before Jesus suffered and died on the cross. Saint Joseph is the patron saint of bursars, carpenters, confectioners, craftsmen, dying people, emigrants, engineers, expectant mothers, families, fathers, holy death, house hunters, immigrants, laborers, married people, people in doubt, people who fight Communism, pioneers, pregnant women, the protection of the Church, the Second Vatican Council, social justice, travelers, the Tyrol in Austria (an area very special to the earliest German-speaking parishioners of Most Holy Trinity, in fact the birthplace of the first pastor)unborn children, the Universal Church and workers, as well as many dioceses, places and countries. In this window Joseph is shown holding the infant Jesus in his arms; the infant Jesus holds his right hand as if giving a blessing and in his left hand there is a small orb with a cross. The orb and cross symbolize the world and the dominion of Jesus over the world through the power of his cross. At the feet of Joseph are white lily plants; the lily is a traditional symbol of purity.
This window was a gift of the St. Joseph Society.
Saint Sebastian, Martyr
The image in this window depicts Saint Sebastian the Martyr (celebrated on January 20th). Sebastian was born into a wealthy Roman family sometime in the late third century in Narbonne, Gaul (in present day France). He became an officer in the Imperial Roman army and was the captain of the guard. Sebastian was able to visit Christians who had been imprisoned during the persecution of Diocletian. He worked to spread the faith in spite of the obstacle of being part of the Roman military. Because of his fearless work on behalf of the Gospel, he is said to have brought many soldiers and government officials into the faith. Eventually Sebastian was charged with the crime of being a Christian and he was sentenced to death; he was tied to a tree and then shot with arrows, and although left for dead, he survived the ordeal and recovered. After his unsuccessful execution, Sebastian went to see the emperor Diocletian and he attempted to preach the Gospel to him. Because of Sebastian’s heroic act of witnessing to the faith and the emperor’s contempt for Christianity, Diocletian had him beaten to death immediately. During the Black Death and plagues of the fourteenth century, people thought these diseases were akin to being shot with arrows of death by the evil forces of nature. Because Sebastian was shot with arrows during the first attempt on his life, this saint had been associated with archers for centuries. Because of this connection to archers, and the belief that the plagues were like arrows of death, the people of the Middle Ages prayed to Sebastian to intercede for them and spare them from outbreaks of the plague. Sebastian is the patron saint of archers, arrow-smiths, athletes, bookbinders, the dying, gardeners, lace-makers, lead workers, masons, the plague, police, sick cattle, soldiers and stone masons.
This window was a gift of the St. Sebastian Society and Johann Auer.
The image in this window depicts Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (celebrated on June 21st). Aloysius was born in 1568 into a family of Italian nobility and was trained to be a soldier and courtier from the time of his early childhood. Because of kidney disease and other ailments that disabled him in his youth, he was unable to pursue a military career; Aloysius considered his infirmities to be a blessing from God as they left him bed-ridden and afforded him time for prayer and the development of his spiritual life. As a very young man, Aloysius desired to give himself completely to God and even aspired to a missionary life. As a teenager, he dedicated himself to teaching catechism to other young men. The religious aspirations of Aloysius were vehemently opposed by his father, the Marquis Ferrante of Castiglione, however when he turned eighteen, he renounced his inheritance, turned over his noble title to his younger brother and became a Jesuit novice. After his religious profession as a Jesuit he entered the seminary and studied under Saint Robert Bellarmine, his confessor and spiritual advisor. In 1591 a plague broke out in Rome and the youthful Aloysius devoted himself to tending to the needs of its victims; becoming a victim of the plague himself, Aloysius died at the age of twenty-four in June of the same year. It is said that as he lay dying he gazed upon the crucifix and repeated the words “into thy hands.” Because of his reputation for holiness and devotion to those most in need, Aloysius was entombed under the altar of Saint Ignatius Church in Rome. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726. Aloysius is pictured in this window wearing the robes of a Jesuit seminarian in minor orders; he holds a crucifix, for which he was known to have had great devotion, and white lilies, a symbol of purity. Aloysius is the patron saint of Catholic youth, HIV victims and those who care for them, Jesuit students, teenagers and young people.
This window was a gift of the St. Aloysius Young Men’s Society.
Saint Rose of Lima
The image in this window depicts Saint Rose of Lima (celebrated August 23rd). Rose was born in Lima, Peru on April 20, 1586 and given the name Isabel (“Elizabeth” in English) at her baptism. Her parents, devout Catholics, had immigrated to Peru from Spain; they raised her in the faith and planted the seeds to a very devout religious devotion that Rose cultivated throughout her life. The nickname “Rose” is said to have been given to her by her mother when as a child the saint had noticeably rose-colored cheeks; legend says that her cheeks had been transformed that way through the power of a mystical rose. At a young age Rose desired to vow herself to virginity and to a complete devotion to God; she was known from her earliest days as one filled with great spiritual zeal and piety, and in particular as a woman devoted to the Infant Jesus and to his Blessed Mother. Rose spent her life living in the garden house of her parents’ home, a place where she dedicated herself to gardening, domestic work and to the creation of embroidered things, for which she was particularly gifted; Rose sold her embroidery to support herself, her family and the poor. Inspired by Saint Catherine of Sienna, the great Dominican Doctor of the Church, Rose became a Third Order Dominican, or Tertiary, and was invested in the Dominican Habit which she wore for the remainder of her life. It is said that Rose struggled at times with different physical and mental difficulties; yet in spite of the obstacles these difficulties posed, she was widely known for her tremendous devotion to the Eucharist, for her acts of penance and fasting, for her solitude and prayer and as a visionary and mystic. It is said that Rose would enter into periods of spiritual ecstasy that would last for hours and that would bring her great consolation, peace and joy. It is believed that Rose experienced in her own flesh an invisible stigmata, or sharing in the very wounds of Christ Crucified. Perhaps in honor of Saint Catherine of Sienna, her great patron, Rose often wore a metal spiked crown, concealed by roses (Saint Catherine, also a stigmatist, is usually depicted wearing a crown of thorns, which symbolizes her own sharing in the passion of Jesus Christ). Rose of Lima died in 1617 at the age of thirty-one; she was canonized the first American-born saint in 1671 by Pope Clement X. Rose is pictured in this window wearing the habit of the Dominican Order; she holds a crown of roses and appears with her eyes closed, an allusion to her mystical piety. A bush of roses is seen near her feet. Rose is the patron saint of the Americas, embroiderers and needle workers, florists, gardeners, Latin America, the New World, South America, and for those persecuted for their piety. This window was a gift of the Young Christian Women’s Apprentices.
Saint Pius V
The image in this window depicts Pope Saint Pius V (celebrated April 30th). He was born in 1504 in the northern Italian town of Bosco; at his baptism, his parents Paolo and Domenica Ghisleri gave him the name Anthony. The Ghisleries were an impoverished family who boasted a heritage of Italian nobility. As a young boy, Anthony was employed a shepherd, but through the generosity of a wealthy patron he was later given the opportunity to go to school and to receive a superb religious and academic education from Dominican friars. The friars greatly inspired Anthony, and so at the age of fifteen he joined the Dominican Order and took the religious name Michael. Friar Michael was ordained to the priesthood in 1528 at the age of twenty-four. In the early days of his ministry, he worked as a teacher of philosophy and theology for younger friars; he also served as Master of Novices and Prior in different houses of his community. As a Dominican friar, the future pope was known for his great piety, for his acts of penance and simplicity, and for his fervent devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist; he strove to reform his Order and encouraged the friars to live their lives in conformity with that of the spirit and example of their Holy Father, St. Dominic.
Because of his orthodoxy and zeal for the Catholic faith, Michael was appointed as an official of the Inquisition; reluctantly, he was later made a bishop and then a cardinal of the church, but he always maintained his Dominican identity and way of life. Michael Cardinal Ghisleri was known for his humility, for his disdain for the wealthy trapping of the office, for his simple lifestyle and for his generosity towards the poor; consequently he was very popular among the people he served. It is said that Michael begged the cardinals of the church not to elect him as the successor to Pope Pius IV, however they did just that during the papal conclave of 1565. Upon his elevation to the papacy, Michael Cardinal Ghisleri took the name Pius V (Pio V); as the successor to Peter and Vicar of Christ, Pope Pius V enthusiastically embraced and enacted the reforms of the Council of Trent (1545–1563), an undertaking the previous pope had barely begun. The reforms of Pius V, the so-called “Tridentine” reforms, would define Roman Catholic doctrinal, liturgical and spiritual life for the next four-hundred years; he published a new catechism, he advanced the church’s system for educating and training priests, and he presided over liturgical reforms that would endure until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Pius V was also known for his great desire to serve the poor and those in need; he used papal riches in order fund projects that benefitted the less fortunate of society. As a head of state, Pius worked hard to bring together Catholic Europe, especially in the struggles against Protestantism and Islam. Not long before the death of Pius V, the Turks were defeated by a united Christian naval force at the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571; this forever ended the expansion of the Turkish empire into Europe. In thanksgiving, Pius instituted the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (now celebrated on October 7th). Until the last day of his life, Pius labored to unite all of Christian Europe against the threat and power of the Islamic states. Because of what is believed to have been kidney disease, Pope Pius V died on May 1, 1572; he was beatified by Clement X in 1672 and canonized by Clement XI in 1712. Pius is the patron saint of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and of Pietrelcina, Italy (which is the reason Padre Pio, or Saint Pio of Pietrelcina took the same name). This window was a gift of the St. Pius Society.
Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The image in this window depicts Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori (celebrated August 1st). He was born into nobility in 1696 at Marianelli near Naples, Italy. As a child, Alphonsus demonstrated great intelligence and was known to be an excellent student; he also had great love for music and the arts. So intellectually astute was Alphonsus that he was able to receive a doctorate in law from the University of Naples when he was just sixteen years old. As a very young man he became one of the most influential lawyers in Naples. From his youth Alphonsus was also known for his piety and fervent Christian identity. Although a marriage had been arranged for him, Alphonsus instead felt a call to the priesthood, and so after studying theology, he was ordained in 1725 at the age of twenty-nine. As a priest, Alphonsus was respected for his preaching and his theological writings, but perhaps he was best known for his compassionate, patient and merciful demeanor as a confessor; so much so that some church authorities accused him of being far too lenient with sinners. Alphonsus founded a community of women religious called the Redemptoristines in 1730; he founded a community of men religious called the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (also known as Liguorians and/or Redemptorists) in 1732. Alphonsus led his community for thirty years until he was appointed by Pope Clement XII to be the bishop of Saint Agata dei Gotti in 1762. As bishop he worked to reform a diocese that had been plagued by scandal and moral decline. Because of his reforms in the diocese, the clergy were reinvigorated and the faithful were called back to fidelity and piety. Later in life, Alphonsus suffered with severe rheumatism, a cross he endured for many years; because of his illness, he could hardly lift his chin away from his chest; for this reason he is often depicted in art in this posture. In 1775, when he was eighty, Alphonsus resigned as bishop because of his age and poor health; he hoped to spend the rest of his life in peaceful retirement, living within his Redemptorists community. Two years into his retirement, the government threatened to disband the Redemptorists when in 1777 it claimed the community was secretly doing the work of the Jesuits, a community that had been suppressed in 1773. Using his legal and theological skills, Alphonsus defended the community and was able to obtain for it the approval of the government; in doing so, however, it is believed that Alphonsus was actually deceived into accepting a Rule for the Congregation that favored the anti-clerical government. Alphonsus was then chastised by the Pope and removed from any position of authority over the Redemptorists, a censure that led him into many years of personal turmoil. Alphonsus met a peaceful death in 1787 at Nocera, Italy; he had lived a devout Christian life for over ninety years. Alphonsus was canonized 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI; he was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1871 by Pope Pius IX. Alphonsus is the patron saint for those with arthritis, of confessors, of scrupulous people, theologians, and of vocations.
This window was a gift of the St. Alphonsus Society and Joseph and Agatha Vetter.