Windows 1a, 1b, 2a and 2b No saints pictured in these windows
Windows 3a and 3b
St. Scholastica and St. Benedict
Windows 4a and 4b
St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Bl. Ludwig
Windows 5a and 5b
Baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist
Windows 6a and 6b
St. Joachim and St. Anne with child Mary
Windows 7a and 7b
Our Lady, Child Jesus and St. Dominic
Windows #1A, 1B, 2A and 2B
No Saints Pictured
There are two windows in the church that picture no saints at all (this photo shows the second window–2a and 2b–on the left side). It is believed that no saints are pictured in these two windows because either no funds were procured to complete them, or that they were intentionally left without images of saints because of their close proximity (three feet) to the friary (rectory). They windows do contain interesting geometric shapes and images of vines and branches–a reminder of the teaching of Jesus that he is “the True Vine,” the source of life and fruitfulness of his followers.
Windows #3A and 3B
St. Scholastica and St. Benedict
St. Scholastica and St. Benedict: The saints pictured in the two panels of this window were sister and brother twins born of Roman nobility in the year 480 in Narsia, Umbria, Italy; their mother died in childbirth. Like her brother, Scholastica (celebrated on February 10th) founded a monastic religious community. She remained close to her brother throughouther life but little else is known about her. On the eve of her death, Benedict visited her but when she asked him to stay for the night he refused, citing his own rule against being outside the monastery for the night. Scholastica is said to have appealed directly to God and so a sudden and violent thunder storm began forcing Benedict to remain with her in spite of his desire to return to his monastery. Explaining the storm to her brother, Scholastica is reported to have said: “I asked a favor of you and you refused so I asked God and he granted it.” Scholastica is the patron saint of convulsive children, nuns and storms. Benedict (celebrated on July 11th, formerly on March 21st, the day of his death) is considered to be the Founder of Western Monasticism. As a young man Benedict became disillusioned with the society in which he lived and so he fled to the mountains in order to live in a cave as a hermit. Soon others were attracted to his strict religious way of life and he was called upon to lead a community of men. Founding a monastery at Monte Cassino, Italy, he wrote the Rule of his order. This window pictures Benedict holding an abbot’s crosier, and a book that represents the Rule, which he wrote not in classical or scholarly Latin, but in the spoken and ordinary Latin of his day. The Latin words pictured on the book in the window represent the first line of the Rule which reads: “Listen, my son, to the precepts of your master.” Among other things, Benedict is the patron saint of agricultural workers, cave explorers, dying people, inflammatory diseases, monks, people in religious orders and against temptations. Both Scholastica, who died in 543, and Benedict, who died in 547, are buried in the same tomb at Monte Cassino.
It is interesting to note that this window was a gift of Rev. Nicholas Balleis; he was a Benedictine priest who served for a time in the parish during the time of the present church’s construction.
Windows #4A and 4B
St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Blessed Ludwig
St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Blessed Ludwig (Louis) of Thuringia: The images in the two panels of this window tell a story from the life of Elizabeth of Hungary (celebrated on November 17th) and of her husband Ludwig, the Landgrave of Thuringia (celebrated on September 11th). Elizabeth, born in 1207 at Presburg, Hungary and Ludwig, born in 1200 at Thuringia (part of present day Germany) were brought together in an arranged marriage when she was fourteen and he was twenty-one; they had three children and were said to have had great love for one another. As Landgrave, Ludwig controlled territory like a Count and was considered to be part of the nobility. The two, especially Elizabeth, were known for their great devotional life, generosity and service to the poor. Elizabeth was often seen giving bread to the needy (represented in this window by a diminutive bearded man sitting to the right of the saint). Although very charitable himself, Ludwig at times had to remind Elizabeth to be prudent in her charity. This window recounts an occasion in which Elizabeth was confronted by Ludwig about her zealous generosity. He believed she was hiding bread under her mantle, and when he asked to be shown what was there she pulled back her cape and revealed a basket filled with a bouquet of roses–even though it was in the middle of winter and it would have been impossible for such flowers to grow or be available at that time of the year; the bread had miraculously changed into the flowers and Ludwig was given a sign of the great holiness of his wife. Elizabeth was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order (or “Third Order”). The buildings pictured in the background of this window represent a hospital opened by Elizabeth in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Ludwig died in the Crusades in 1227; after his death, Elizabeth sold all her possessions, worked to support her children and continued to live a holy life dedicated to those in need. She died in Marburg in 1231 at the age of twenty-four and was canonized only four years later. Her husband Ludwig was never given such recognition, but instead is known as “Blessed;” for this reason his image in the window has no nimbus, or halo, as is customary in pictures of saints. Among other things, Elizabeth is the patron saint of bakers, beggars, brides, charities, homeless people, hospitals, Secular Franciscans and widows. It should be noted that the church also has a statue of St. Elizabeth located in the chancel near the former high altar. This window was a gift of the Saint Elizabeth’s Society.
Windows #5A and 5B
The Baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist
The images in the two panels of this window tell the story of the Baptism of Jesus. To the right is John the Baptist (birth celebrated on June 24th and death on August 29th) who, as according to Scriptures, is pictured wearing clothing made of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist (see Matthew 3:4). John also wears a flowing red garment; red, the color of blood, symbolizes the martyrs death John received at the hands of Herod, who beheaded him because of a foolish promise made to the daughter of his wife Herodius. John holds a reed cross, symbolic of the words of Jesus, who when speaking to the crowds about him had said: “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?” (see Matthew 11:7). The cross is adorned with a white banner; in art, although not in this window, the banner is often inscribed with the words “Ecce Agnus Dei” (Behold, the Lamb of God)–a direct reference to John’s proclamation of Jesus as the Lamb of God (see John 1:29). John baptizes Jesus using a shell which he holds in his right hand; the shell is a traditional symbol of baptism. Note the additional shells located in the panel just below John’s left foot. Jesus is pictured standing in the Jordan River while wearing white and purple garments; white symbolizes the purity and holiness of Jesus as well as his future resurrection; purple symbolizes the Kingship of Christ and his coming from the royal line of David (see Matthew 1:1). Alluding to the title of Jesus as “the Servant of Yahweh” (see Matthew 12:18) he humbly bows his head and receives John’s baptism. The abundant flora and vegetation flourishing at the banks of the river symbolize new life which springs forth from the Sacrament of Baptism. Finally, the white dove pictured above Jesus symbolizes the Spirit of God which, according to Scriptures, appeared in the form of a dove as “a voice from the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (see Matthew 3:16-17). Among other things, John the Baptist is the patron saint of baptism, bird dealers, converts, hailstorms, lambs, monastic life, motor-ways, printers, San Juan, Puerto Rico, spasms and tailors. This window was a gift of Johann Timmes.
Windows #6A and 6B
St. Joachim and St. Anne with child Mary
The images in the two panels of this window show Mary as a child with her parents, Joachim and Anne (both celebrated on July 26th). No mention is made of the parents of Mary in the Scriptures but their names have been recorded in ancient apocryphal literature, specifically in the Protoevangelium of James. According to tradition, Joachim and Anne were elderly at the time of Mary’s birth, and she was their only child. The fig tree pictured behind the saints shows signs of having been repeatedly pruned; this is an allusion to belief about the couple’s age at the time of Mary’s birth–they who had been previously been thought to have been sterile had given birth to Mary. The saints are pictured in fine garments, reflecting the belief that they were very wealthy. Anne is shown with a raised right hand in the posture of teaching the young Mary. Joachim stands to the right of the mother and child. Behind the three figures is the walled City of Jerusalem. To the right of Joachim is what appears to be an arched entrance, perhaps a reference to the “Golden Gate” in Jerusalem where it is said that Joachim and Anne first met. Among other things, Anne is the patron saint of broom-makers, carpenters, childless people, equestrians, grandmothers, homemakers, housewives, lace-makers, lost articles, miners, mothers, old-clothes dealers, pregnancy, seamstresses and women in labor. Joachim is the patron saint of fathers and grandfathers. This window was a gift of Godfried Jager, Ludwig Strorer and Eduard MacCarthy.
Windows #7A and 7B
Blessed Virgin Mary, Infant Jesus and St. Dominic
The images in the two panels of this window recall Saint Dominic who is said to have received the Holy Rosary while experiencing a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The right panel depicts the child Jesus standing on the lap of Mary; she is portrayed as the Queen of Heaven, symbolized by the crown on her head, the throne upon which she is seated and the clouds over which she seems to be gently levitating. Both Mary and the child Jesus are holding and presenting a Rosary to Dominic, who is pictured in the left panel, kneeling before them. Dominic (celebrated on August 8th) founded the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) in 1215. He was known for his great devotion to Mary and the Rosary, or the “Marian Psalter,” as it was called during the time he was alive. Dominic received the vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary at a time when he was feeling discouraged and was unable to defeat the heresies of his day, particularly Albigensianism. In the vision, Mary told Dominic to say the Marian Psalter daily, to teach it to those who would accept it, and that with perseverance, the true faith would prevail. Although Dominic is often credited with inventing the Rosary as it is prayed today, actually one form or another of it existed both before and after his lifetime; without a doubt, Dominic can be credited with spreading devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary through the use of the Marian Psalter. Pictured on the floor near the knees of Dominic is a book with the German words: “Mensch sei besdändig der Hammer und nicht der Ambos der beiden shaften.” This is a reference to a popular proverb of his day, frequently quoted by Dominic, that said: “A man who governs his passions is master of his world. We must either command them or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil.” The words appear in German because the parish was founded by and originally served German speaking people . Dominic is the patron saint of astronomy, the Dominican Republic, falsely accused people and scientists. This window was a gift of William Schickel, who was the architect of this church building.