Windows 12 & 13: The Childhood of Jesus

Childhood of Jesus

Windows 12 and 13: The Childhood of Jesus
Reynolds, Francis & Rhonstock, 1955-56
In memory of John Day Seely and (his sister) Mary Louise Seely Beard
Given by Evalyn Grove Sealy
North wall of nave

Left lancet (Window 12)
Bottom: Epiphany (Matthew 2:1–12).
Middle: The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-23).
Top: Christ in the Temple (Luke 2: 41-52).

Right lancet (Window 13)
Bottom: Birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:57-80).
Middle: Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38).
Top: Nativity (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-20).

The theme of these windows is the childhood of Jesus. The design consists of six oval medallions on an ornamental background with a foliated border around each lancet.

Arranged chronologically and beginning at the bottom of the right hand lancet (Window 13), the first medallion shows the Birth of John the Baptist, forerunner of Christ. St. Elizabeth reclines on a couch while an attendant holds the infant. Three small inserts relate to this subject. Below the medallion is the Angel Gabriel appearing to Zacharias, husband of Elizabeth (Luke 1:11–13). In the border to the left are the people who waited outside the temple for Zacharias; to the right Zacharias, who has been struck dumb, appears (Luke 1:21-22).

The next medallion illustrates the Annunciation to the Virgin. The angel Gabriel stands before her holding a lily, symbol of purity, his right hand raised as he says, “Hail, thou that art highly favored.” Mary is seated before her desk, on which is an open book. In the circle beneath an angel appears to Joseph and tells him to take Mary for his wife (Matthew 1:18-26). In the border to the left and right the angel with the flaming sword drives Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. This refers to Mary, who was called the second Eve, mother of all living.

The top medallion in the right hand lancet shows the Nativity of Jesus. Mary kneels before the Babe who reclines on a pallet of straw. The star of Bethlehem shines down from above and the ox and ass suggest the stable. In the small circle the three shepherds see the angel who tells them to follow the star. The star again appears as a symbol above the medallion.

The left hand lancet (Window 12) continues the story of Christ’s childhood. In the bottom medallion, the three Wise Men from the East bring gifts and adore the young child and his mother. In the small circle below, the Magi are searching for the place where Jesus was born, following the star. In the border to the left and right are two shepherds.

The middle medallion depicts the Flight into Egypt, Mary and the Child riding on the donkey and Joseph leading the way. In the circle, Egypt is suggested by a pyramid and a palm tree. In the border to left and right are guardian angels.

The top medallion shows Christ in the Temple, teaching the doctors, one of whom kneels in the small circle. In the border to the left is Mary and to the right is Joseph, who have been searching for the boy Jesus. Above the medallion is the Agnes Dei or Lamb of God, symbol of Christ.