St. John the Evangelist Church Stained Glass Windows
One of the treasures of the St. John the Evangelist Church community is the beauty of our stained glass windows. A bit of the history of the Saints depicted by these beautiful windows follows...
The Annunciation Window
The large figures of the Blessed Virgin and Archangel Gabriel give to the window its central theme. In the small panel at the extreme left is the Prophet Isaiah who made many references to the Incarnation (Is. 7:14). In the next panel is Gideon, the most renowned of he Judges of Israel. He the symbolizes deliverance of Israel - a pre-figurement of the Incarnation also. Balancing these two figures are Moses and Ezekiel. Moses received the command from God to deliver Israel: Ezekiel (44:2) refers to the closed gateway and is another mystical reference to the incarnation. The two small panels contain David andSolomon, ancestors of the Virgin Mary. The two emblems above Gabriel and Mary are the Sealed Book and Tower of David - the former a symbol of a truth too profound for humans to understand, the latter a symbol of the Virgin taken from the Canticle of Canticles. The four seated figures are the Evangelists, shown in their conventional representation: Matthew as the winged man, Mark as a lion; Luke as a winged ox, and John as an eagle. The tracery shapes above the four side panels contain decorative figures of adoring angels with musical instruments and censors. In all, twelve stars are shown - a star being a symbol of the Virgin and a reference to Revelation's 12 stars. (These notes are condensed from a letter from Mr. Herman Butler, a noted architect, to Msgr. John B. Sullivan, dated Oct. 8,1930.)
St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) is perhaps one of the most popular saints today. His life was a real turn around. He spent his youth in extravagant living and pleasure seeking, went to war and was takenprisoner in 1202. On his release, he resumed his carefree life and then, was seriously ill. A vision of Christ he experienced at Spoleto, followed by another on his return to Assisi, caused him tochange hlswhole lifestyle. In 1206 he devoted his life to serving the poor and caring for the sick. He was angrily denounced by his father as a madman and disinherited. He attracted numerous disciples and eventually founded the Franciscans. One motivating force in his ministry was his desire to preach to the Mohammedans - but failed in his attempts even to physically reach Egypt and the Middle East. He died on October 3, 1226. Francis was a lay person who had a tremendous impact on religious life. Probably no saint has affected so many in so many different ways as the gentle saint of Assisi, who though born into wealth, devoted his life to poverty, concern for the poor and the sick, and so delighted in God's works as revealed in nature.
Saint Joan of Arc
St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431) was the youngest daughter of a French farmer. She was instrumental in regaining the throne of France for King Charles VII from the British. She led the French army and relieved the beseiged city of Orleans. She was captured by the British, and was burned to death at the stake at Rouen on. May 30, 1431, the victim of her enemies' determination to destroy her. She was canonized in 1920 and is known as the secondpatron of Francis and as the Maid of Orleans. St. Elizabeth St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) was married to Ludwig of Hungary at the age of fourteen. They were an ideal married couple and Elizabeth was known for her great charity. She had a hospital built at the foot of their castle. Ludwig died in a crusade and Elizabeth was heartbroken. She was left a widow with four children. The picture of her in the window with the apron of roses goes back to a legend that holds that as she was taking food from the castle to feed the hungry, she was stopped by a prince who had forbidden her to feed the poor. When he asked what was in her apron, she opened it to reveal the food now changed to roses.
Saint Charles Borromeo
St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) was born at Lake Maggiore, Italy on October 2. After receiving his doctorate in 1559, Pope Pius IV named him Secretary of State and created him a cardinal of Milan. He was ordained a priest in 1563. He instituted radical measures to reform the morals and manners of clergy and laity, established seminaries, found a CCD for children. He increased assistance to the poor and needy. When the plague struck Milan In 1576, he was instrumental in providing care for the afflicted and dying. He was one of the towering figures of the Catholic Reformation, a patron of learning and the arts. He used his position of great power with humility, personal sanctity, and unselfishness to reform the Church of the evils and abuses so prevalent among the clergy and nobles of the time.
St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel is one of three archangels with Gabriel and Raphael. He appears twice In the Old Testament (Dan. 10:13 and 12:1) and twice in the New Testament (Jude v. 9 and Rev. 12:7-9). He was early regarded in the Church as the captain of the heavenly host, the protector of the Christian against the devil, and as the helper of Christian armies against heathen armies. Usually he is represented with a sword, fighting with or standing over a conquered dragon.
St. Agnes (304) was born of a wealthy Roman family and was noted for her beauty. She early resolved to live in purity, consecrating her virginity to God. She was denounced as a Christian to the governor during the Diocletian persecution. She was beheaded and buried in a cemetery which was named after her on the Via Nomentana. Over the centuries, she became the great Christian symbol of virginal innocence, usually represented in art by a lamb.
St. Martha (1st century) was the sister of Mary and Lazarus at Bethany. She is mentioned in the famous incident in Luke 10:38-42. She has thus become the prototype of the activist Christian and Mary the symbol of the contemplative life. According to medieval legend, she, Mary and Lazarus went to France after the death of Jesus and evangelized Provence. She is the patroness of cooks. Saint Martin of Tours St. Martin of Tours (316-97) was born in Hungary. At fifteen, he was inducted into the army against his will. In 337 at Amiens, there was a famous incident in which he cut his cloak in half and gave half to p a poorly clad beggar in the freezing cold; that night he had a vision of Christ in his half cloak. He became a convert to Christianity, refused to fight and was discharged soon after. He fought against Arianism, a heresy of the day. H organized a monastic community at Ligeige In Gaul (France). Martin was one of the great saints of Gauland the oustanding pioneer of western monasticism before St. Benedict.
Saint Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was the great theologian of the Middle Ages. He was a Dominican priest who was born in Aqulno, Italy. He taught in Milan, Naples, Rome and Paris. His two great works are the Summa Contra Gentiles and Summa Theological which were systematic expositions of the Catholic faith in the framework of Aristotelian philosophy. He is the patron of all universities, colleges and schools. He wrote hymns familiar to many of us - Pange lingua and Adoro te devote. He was perhaps the greatest theologian ofthe Middle Ages and his works were the basis of theology courses for seven centuries after his death. He was a man of towering intellect, great humility and holiness. Legend has it that he was a big man - the dining room table had to have a curved part cut out so he could sit at the table.
Saint Mary Magdalen
St. Mary Magdalen (1st Century) has been the classic example of the repentant sinner. She is identified with the unknown sinner in Luke 7:36 and with Mary, the sister of Martha, but there are no real justifications for these identifications. She had seven devils cast out of her by the Lord (Mark 16:9), ministered to him in Galilee (Luke 8:2), was among the women at the crucifixion (Matt. 27:56), discovered the empty tomb (Matt. 28:1), and was the first person to see Christ (John 20:1-18). According to an ancient tradition, she accompanied John to Ephesus where she died.