Windows 8a and 8b
Blessed Virgin Mary, the child Jesus and Saint Catherine of Sienna
Windows 9a and 9b
Holy Family, St. Elizabeth, St. John Baptist
Windows 10a and 10b
St. Peter and St. Paul
Windows 11a and 12b
St. Nicholas and St. George
Windows 12a and 12b
St. Margaret and St. Wenceslaus
Windows 13a and 13b
St. Patrick and St. Stephen
Windows 14a and 14b
St. Anthony of Padua and St. John of God
Windows #8A and 8B
Blessed Virgin Mary, Infant Jesus and Saint Catherine of Sienna
The images in the to panels of this window depict the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Infant Jesus and St. Catherine of Sienna. The location of this window is directly opposite, and in a way mirrors the window depicting St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order of which Catherine was a member. Catherine (celebrated on April 29th) was the daughter of Giacomo di Benincasa and his wife Lapa, parents of twenty-six children. Catherine was born in 1347. At a very young age, and after she had become a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic, she had a vision in which the infant Jesus presented her with a wedding ring whereby she became a mystical bride of Christ; this window recalls that vision. After the vision, Catherine became very active in the world, traveling extensively and communicating with civil and religious leaders in order to bring the Gospel message of peace to many people. Catherine wrote extensively and because of her work was later hailed as a “Doctor of the Church.” It is believed that Catherine received the Stigmata, or wounds of Christ, in her own body; for this reason she is pictured wearing a crown of thorns, a symbol of her sharing in the very passion of Jesus Christ. Among other things, Catherine is the patron saint of firefighters, illness, miscarriages, nursing services, people ridiculed for their piety, sexual temptation and of sick people.
This window was a gift of the Dominican Sisters. It should be noted that the Sisters of St. Dominic have ministered in the parish since their arrival in 1853. The Mother House of the Dominican Sisters, Holy Cross Convent, was located at 157 Graham Avenue until 1944 when it was transferred to Amityville, New York. The Dominican Sisters have a long tradition of service in Most Holy Trinity Parish; this window, in honor of St. Catherine of Sienna, is a tribute to the Dominican community and the service they have given.
Windows #9A and 9B
The Holy Family, St. Elizabeth and the child St. John the Baptist
The images in the two panels of this window show the Holy Family of Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus on the left, and the child John the Baptist with his mother Elizabeth on the right. The Holy Family (celebrated on the Sunday within the octave of Christmas) is pictured in regal robes, perhaps alluding to their noble lineage. Joseph is pictured holding a carpenter’s square, a clear reference to his trade. In the Scriptures no mention is made of a childhood meeting between Jesus and John, but there is no doubt that as cousins they knew each other; the well-known story of the meeting between Mary and Elizabeth, or the Visitation, that occurred when both women were pregnant with their respective sons should be recalled here (see Luke 1:39-56). Even from the womb, John the Baptist acknowledged the greatness of Jesus (see v. 41). In this window Elizabeth (celebrated November 5th) bows in humble recognition of the greatness of those before her. The child John the Baptist (birth celebrated on June 24th and death on August 29th) is pictured wearing clothing made of camel’s hair–a reference to Scriptural description of his clothing and, in this case, to the traditional belief that he left home at a very early age in order to live in the desert. The lamb that John the Baptist presents to Jesus is symbolic of the Scriptural proclamation of John about whom Jesus is, and of the fate that he will suffer; when John sees Jesus, he proclaims: “Behold, the Lamb of God” (see John 1:29). 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. Elizabeth is the patron saint of expectant mothers. This window was a gift of Adam and Elizabeth Schlemel.
Windows #10A and 10B
St. Peter and St. Paul
The images in the two panels of this window depict the Apostles Peter and Paul. Depicted on 10a, the left panel, is Paul holding two gold keys. The keys are symbolic of the words of Jesus to Peter: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church . . . and I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven” (see Matthew 16:18-19). Because of these words, Roman Catholic’s have always believed that Jesus chose Peter, and his direct successors, to hold the primacy of authority in the Church. For this reason, the Pope is believed to be the Successor of Peter , the Keeper of the Keys, the Shepherds of the Church and the Vicar of Christ. Peter is celebrated on June 29th, the feast of Peter and Paul, February 22nd, the feast of the Chair of Peter and on November 18th, the feast of the dedication of the Basilicas of Peter and Paul. Among other things, Peter is the patron saint of bakers, bridge builders, butchers, clock makers, foot problems, fishermen, locksmiths, longevity, masons, net makers, the papacy, shoemakers, stone masons, the Universal Church and watch makers. Depicted on 10b, the right panel, is Paul holding a sword in his right hand and a book in his left. Paul wrote extensively and is the principal author of the New Testament. Paul spoke of the word of God as “the Sword of the Spirit,” hence the book and sword. Among other things, Paul is the patron saint of authors, the Cursillo movement, evangelists, journalists, lay people, musicians, public relations personnel, rope makers, saddle makers and writers. In addition to the feasts days that he shares with Peter noted above, Paul is celebrated on January 25th, the commemoration of his conversion.
Windows 11A and11B
St. Nicholas of Myra and St. George the Martyr
The images in the two panels of this window depict Nicholas of Myra and George, Soldier and Martyr. Depicted on 11a, the left panel, is Nicholas (celebrated on December 6th) who was born in the year 346 in Myra, in what is now modern day Turkey. Nicholas is pictured wearing a bishop’s miter and flowing purple robes. A crosier rests in the crook of his right arm as he points with his right index finger, an indication of his powerful teaching authority. He holds a book in his left hand; resting on the book are three gold balls. At the feet of the saint there is a small barrel in which there are three young boys. Nicholas became the bishop of Myra and was especially known for his generosity toward the poor. The three gold balls in the window recall an event whereby the bishop threw three bags of gold into the window of a very poor man’s house; the man was so desperate for money that he had contemplated selling his daughters into prostitution. The gold saved the girls from a such a dreadful life. The barrel containing the three boys recalls an event in which the saint discovered their dead bodies hidden inside a barrel filled with salt water; Nicholas raised the three boys to life and the crime was brought to light. These stories about Nicholas led to him being called the patron of children; because of this, he eventually became known as “Santa Claus.” Many popular legends about Santa Claus and the Season of Christmas have their roots in Nicholas of Myra. Among other things, Nicholas is the patron saint of bakers, barrel makers, brewers, captives, children, judges, longshoremen, newlyweds, old maids, paupers, pawnbrokers, poor people, prisoners, sailors, scholars, travelers and unmarried girls.
Depicted on 11b, the right panel, is George (celebrated on April 23rd). The date of his birth is unknown, yet it is believed that he was tortured and beheaded in Lydia, Palestine in the year 304. The only certain things known about George is that he was a Roman soldier and that he was eventually martyred for the faith. George is pictured wearing the armor of a knight; he holds a lance in his left hand and wears a sword at his side. In his right hand he holds a palm branch, the symbol of martyrs. The greatest story about George, known as the “Golden Legend,” says that single-handedly, and with only one blow of his lance, he killed a ferocious dragon that had been living in a lake and terrorizing the people near Silena, Libya, hence a dead dragon is pictured laying at his feet. According to the story, great crowds of people were converted to the Christian faith because he slaughtered the dragon.
Furthermore, the prize money he received from the king for killing the dragon was then given to the poor. George has been an extremely popular saint throughout all of Europe. Like St. Margaret, who is pictured in window 12a, George is known as one of the “Fourteen Holy Helpers” (along with Acathius, Barbara, Blaise, Catherine of Alexandria, Christopher, Cyriacus, Denis, Erasmus, Eustace, Giles, Margaret of Antioch, Pantaleon and Vitus). Among other things, George is the patron saint of archers, the Boy Scouts, butchers, Canada, chivalry, Crusaders, England, equestrians, farmers, field hands, Germany, Greece, knights, lepers, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, soldiers, and the Teutonic Knights. The one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary commemoration book of the parish, published in 1966, This window was a gift of Nicolaus Geyer and George Stelz.
Windows #12A and 12B
St. Margaret of Antioch and St. Wenceslaus of Bohemia
The images in the two panels of this window depict Margaret of Antioch and Wenceslaus of Bohemia. Depicted on 12a, the left panel, is Margaret of Antioch (celebrated on July 20th). The date of her birth is unknown, yet it is believed that he was tortured and beheaded at Antioch in Pisidia (in modern day Turkey) in the year 257. Margaret’s mother died when she was an infant, and although her father was a pagan priest, she was raised by Christian women. Disowned by her father, Margaret embraced the Christian faith when she was very young and later consecrated her life and her virginity to God. According to legend, Margaret was swallowed whole by the devil in the form of a dragon, but it expelled her because she carried a cross that caused great discomfort to the beast; she escaped unharmed. Margaret was martyred because she refused the advances of a Roman prefect who had been captivated by her great beauty; because of this, she was brought to trial and denounced as a Christian. Because she then refused to give up her faith, unsuccessful attempts were made first to burn and then to boil her alive; finally, Margaret was martyred by beheading. Like St. George, who is pictured in window 11b, Margaret is known as one of the “Fourteen Holy Helpers.” She is pictured holding the martyr’s palm branch in her right hand and a book in her left. Her flowing white robes are a symbol of her virginal purity. The legendary dragon is pictured at her feet. Among other things, Margaret is the patron saint of dying people, escape from devils, exiles, expectant mothers, falsely accused people, kidney disease, martyrs, nurses, peasants, safe childbirth and women.
The reason the virgin Saint Margaret is the patron saint of expectant mothers and safe childbirth is associated with her legendary experience of escaping from the belly of the dragon. Depicted on 12b, the right panel, is Wenceslaus, also known as Vaclav, (celebrated on September 28th) who was born in the year 907 in Prague, Bohemia (in the modern day Czech Republic). Wenceslaus is pictured holding the martyr’s palm branch in his right hand and a large sheathed sword in his left; he is wearing very regal robes, gold jewelry and a king’s crown. Wenceslaus was the child of a Christian father and a pagan mother; his paternal grandmother and teacher was St. Ludmilla (860-921). When his father Duke Wratislaw died, his mother Dragomir took over the government and began to oppress the Christian faith. Rebelling against Dragomir, the people revolted and successfully demanded that Wenceslaus be given control of the duchy. Wenceslaus aligned himself with Germany and the Christian Emperor Otto I, who gave him the title of king. For both political and religious reasons, Dragomir and her other son Boleslaw, also a pagan, plotted the murder of Wenceslaus in the year 935. At the door to a church, Boleslaw confronted Wenceslaus, killed him and then cut the body into pieces; Wenceslaus had been on his way to attend mass. The large sword pictured in the window is symbolic of the violent death that Wenceslaus endured. Boleslaw eventually repented of his crime and had the remains of his brother entombed at the Church of St. Vitus in Prague. To this day Wenceslaus is reverenced as the patron of the Czech Republic; his crown is regarded as a symbol of Czech nationalism. Wenceslaus is the patron saint of Bohemia, brewers, the Czech Republic, Moravia and Prague. The one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary commemoration book of the parish, published in 1966, erroneously identifies this panel as picturing “St. Sebastian.” This window was a gift of the Hanselmann Family.
Windows #13A and 13B
Saint Patrick of Ireland and St. Stephen, Deacon
The images in the two panels of this window depict St. Patrick of Ireland and St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr.
Depicted on 13a, the left panel, is Patrick (celebrated on March 17th), known as “The Apostle of Ireland.” He is pictured wearing the robes and miter of a bishop. A mortally wounded snake is entwined around the base of the crozier that rests in the crook of his left arm; he holds a shamrock in his left hand and points to it with his right index finger. Interesting to note is the green halo encircling his head–a color typically associated with Ireland. Patrick was born in England or Scotland around the year 389. The name given to him at birth was Maewyn Succat. At the age of sixteen he was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland, where he labored as a shepherd until the age of twenty-two, when he escaped and returned to his family on the British mainland. During the time of his enslavement he had developed a deep spiritual life and soon after his return to his family he decided to pursue a calling to the priesthood. The young Maewyn Succat traveled to France where he stayed for fifteen years, during which time he lived and studied in monasteries, was ordained to the priesthood and continued to develop his spiritual life. In 432 Pope Celestine ordained him a bishop, gave him the name Patrick, and sent him to evangelize England and Ireland. Patrick tirelessly evangelized all of Ireland for almost thirty years; he won many converts from the Druid religion and the island became solidly Roman Catholic . Patrick died in 461in County Down, Ireland (in what is now the northern part of Ireland occupied by the British). Legend says that Patrick drove all of the snakes from Ireland, definitely a myth as the climate of Ireland was never conducive to snakes. Actually this legend refers to the symbolic use of snakes by the pagan Druid priests (snakes being associated with fertility and wells); Patrick converted the pagans and therefore eliminated their religion in Ireland, hence the symbol of the mortally wounded snake that appears in this window. Patrick is also associated with the green shamrock; according to tradition, he used the three leaves of the shamrock to teach about the Christian concept of three persons in one God, the Most Holy Trinity, hence the shamrock pictured in this window. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and of many archdioceses and dioceses throughout the world (one of which is the Archdiocese of New York to which this parish originally belonged); he is also the patron against snakes and snake bites and against ophidiophobia (i.e., the fear of snakes).
Depicted on 13b, the right panel, is Stephen (celebrated on December 26th) who is believed to have been martyred in the year 33. He is pictured holding the martyr’s palm branch in his right hand and a thurible in his left, and he wears the vestments of a deacon. The saint is pictured as a very young man, without facial hair–perhaps symbolic of his role as the “first martyr of the primitive church.”
All that is known about Stephen is what is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (see chapters 6-8). Stephen was one of the original seven (along with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas) chosen by the early community to supervise the public tables; he and the others were given this authority by the imposition of the hands of the Twelve Apostles. Stephen was known for his holiness, his excellent debating skill, and his ability to work signs and wonders. Because he fearlessly preached the Gospel, he angered the Jewish authorities, was “dragged out of the city” and stoned to death. One of those who witnessed the martyrdom of Stephen was Saul, who would later convert to Christianity and as “Paul” would become one of the principal authors of the New Testament. Steven is the patron saint of casket makers, deacons, headaches, horses and stone masons. Although it is difficult to be sure because of the condition of the lettering on the window, it is believed that this window was a gift of the Power Brothers.
Windows #14A and 14B
St. Anthony of Padua and St. John of God
The images in the two panels of this window depict St. Anthony of Padua and St. John of God.
Depicted on 14a, the left panel, is Anthony (celebrated on June 13th). He is pictured wearing the robes, Marian prayer beads, and sandals of a Franciscan Friar; the infant Jesus rests in his right arm and he is holding a lily with his left hand. Anthony was born in 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal; he was given the name Ferdinand at baptism. At the age of fifteen he joined the Order of Regular Canons of Saint Augustine (known as Augustinians). When the relics of the first Franciscan martyrs of Africa (namely Bernard, Peter, Otho, Accursius, and Adjutus) passed through the town in which he lived in the year 1220, he was inspired to leave the Augustinian Order and to become a Franciscan Friar, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the martyrs. Although illness prevented him from going to Africa and he experienced being shipwrecked in Sicily, heeventually went to Assisi where he is said to have met St. Francis. At first, Anthony was unrecognized for he genius and he busied himself praying and cleaning.
One day he was asked to take the place of an absent speaker and the audience was awed by his magnificent preaching ability. Eventually recognized for his great intellect, Anthony was made professor of theology, a position he held in Bologna, Toulouse, Montpellier and Padua. He traveled extensively preaching the Gospel and the Franciscan message. Anthony was believed to be a powerful preacher and miracle worker and was known as the “hammer of heretics.” Anthony died on June 13, 1231. In the panel Anthony is pictured holding the child Jesus. Legend has it that, while Anthony was staying at the home of a nearby Count, the latter saw him through a window holding and conversing with the Christ child. The image of Anthony holding the child is really symbolic of his great ability to hold up the Word of God, the Sacred Scriptures, and effectively share its message with all who heard him preach. Anthony is pictured holding a lily in his left hand. This symbol, often associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary, refers the her purity, innocence and integrity, characteristics Anthony shares with Mary, about whom he also preached. We might see in these symbols of the Christ child and of the lily that Anthony holds up the Word of God with one hand and the Mother of God with the other. Among other things, Anthony is the patron saint of amputees, animals, elderly people, expectant mothers, faith in the Blessed Sacrament, fishermen, Lisbon–Portugal, lost articles, mail, oppressed people, Padua–Italy, poor people, Portugal, sailors, seekers of lost articles, shipwrecks, starving people and travelers.
Depicted on 14b, the right panel, is John of God (celebrated on March 8th). He is pictured wearing the habit of his community; in his left hand he holds a large pomegranate fruit that is surmounted by a cross. John was born at Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal, on March 8th,1495. As a young boy, John became a shepherd and was known for his great responsibility, as well as his piety. When John was a young man, and because he desired to escape the offer of his master’s daughter’s hand in marriage, he began a long nearly twenty-year odyssey during which he traveled through Europe and North Africa, serving as a soldier and mercenary. It is believed that during these years John moved away from the piety of his youth and engaged in debauchery and immorality. It is said that John went through a brief period of mental instability and that some thought him to be insane. Gradually turning his attention back to God, John settled in different places and began to live a life of penance and charity. While living on Gibralter, John became involved with “the Apostolate of the printed page,” selling books and pictures in order to spread the Christian faith. It was on Gibralter that John experienced a vision in which the Infant Jesus gave him the name “John of God” and told him to move to Grenada, Spain. According to tradition, the Infant Jesus presented John with a half-open pomegranate surmounted by a cross as he said: “John of God, Granada will be your cross.” The pomegranate the saint is pictured holding in this window recalls that vision–the pomegranate is a symbol of charity; the cross coming out of the fruit is a symbol of the spirit of sacrifice that springs from charity (the sacrifice of the cross and Christian charity being interconnected).
In Grenada John of God continued to live a life of penance and charity, taking care of the poor, and Spain invested him in the habit he is seen wearing in this window; the same habit later adopted by the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God, the Religious Community of which he is the founder. John died on March 8th, 1550 as a result of an illness he contracted while unsuccessfully attempting to save a drowning man. John is the patron saint of alcoholics, bodily ills, bookbinders, booksellers, dying people, firefighters, heart patients, hospitals, hospital workers, nurses, publishers, printers and sick people. The St. Anthony panel was a gift of Anton Schimmel; the St. John panel was a gift of St. Catherine’s Hospital.d especially those who were sick and dying. He was well known for his successful begging on behalf of those he served. It is said that John would often remove his own clothes and exchange them with poor people if he came upon someone more shabbily dressed than himself; to put an end to this, Bishop Sebastian Ramirez of Túy, in the north west of