St. John's Symbolic Church Windows
At the time of the redecoration of the church interior in 1955, new windows were installed in the church. The design in each of these windows is symbolic of a particular incident or event in the Life of Christ or His Blessed Mother. In order to give meaning to these windows, the following interpretations are given for the symbols in the windows. The windows are considered clockwise, beginning with those by the St. Joseph Altar.
1. The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary — The monogram incorporates the letters of the word "Maria" and is protected by a shield. This signifies Mary protected from original sin. This singular gift from God is represented by the crown and stars above.
2. The Annunciation — The Lily represents Mary, Lily of Purity, and the Dove signifies the descent of Holy Spirit upon her as she accepts the call to become the Mother of the Savior.
3. The Visitation — The Lily in full bloom signifies Mary as Virgin and Mother. The sunflower represents St. Elizabeth. The inscription "Ecce Agnus Dei — Behold the Lamb of God", is Elizabeth's recognition that Mary is to be the Mother of the Savior.
4. The Birth at Bethlehem — This window features the Star of Magi, the manger, the straw, and the swaddling bands. The emblem formed by the two Greek letters, Chi and Rho, means "Christ".
5. The Presentation — The symbols are the Altar of Sacrifice of the Old Testament and the two turtle doves, the gift of Joseph and Mary according to the law which stated that the first male child would be presented to the Lord and the offering of the poor would be a pair of turtle doves.
6. The Finding in the Temple — The letters IHS are three Greek letters meaning JES, or an abbreviation for "Jesus". He was 12 years old. The pillar signifies the Temple of Jerusalem; the saw — St. Joseph, the carpenter; the Lily is again the Blessed Virgin Mary; and the bucket containing the scrolls — the Torah, or laws of the Jews.
7. The Agony in the Garden of Olives — The Chi-Rho again stands for Christ. His hand reaches out to accept the chalice of suffering. "Father, if it be possible . . . yet not My will but Thine be done."
8. The Scouraging at the Pillar — Represented are the pillar with ring in the center to which Christ was tied, and the whips with leather straps tipped with pieces of iron.
9. The Crowning with Thorns — The crown of thorns is entwined around a crown of glory."Should not the Son of Man suffer these things and so enter into His Glory?"
10. The Carrying of the Cross — This window shows the Cross above the symbol for Christ, the Chi-Rho.
11. The Crucifixion — The symbols of this window are the cross-bar of the Cross with the hand of Christ nailed to it, and the hammer and other nails.
12. The Resurrection — The symbol is the Phoenix bird which, according to legend, was burned to death but rose up alive again out of its own ashes. Flames are shown under the bird.
13. The Ascension — The Chi-Rho here ornamented with wings signifies Christ ascending by His own divine power. Rays of light depict the pathway to Heaven.
14. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Pentecost) — Shown here are the Dove (the Holy Spirit) and the tongues of fire which appeared above the heads of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostles, and the Disciples.
15. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven — Here the monogram "Maria" is supported by the wings of angels chanting "Ave — Hail!" This signifies Mary being taken into heaven, not by her own power as was Our Lord.
16. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven — Here again, the Lily represents Mary. The Coronation is represented by the precious crown of jewels and stars above the Lily.