The Roman Catholic Community of
Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

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 Windows on the Clerestory, left side

 


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Below are pictures of the windows, and an explanation of each, on the "clerestory" (upper  windows), left side

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To the right is the layout of the church building showing the location of each of the stained glass windows on the left side of the clerestory.

Click on the following links to go to the place on this page explaining that window:

Window 15
St. Cecilia

Window 16
St. Vincent de Paul

Window 17
St. Stanislaus Kostka

Window 18
St. Balbina

Window 19
St. Martin of Tours

Window 20
St. James (Jacobus)

Window 21
St. Raphael the Archangel



Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

         The image on this window depicts St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (celebrated on November 22nd). It is believed that Cecilia was martyred sometime during the second century A.D. Cecilia was from a wealthy Roman family; the regal clothes she wears in this window are an allusion to her patrician lineage. It is believed that Cecilia made a vow of virginity at a very young age as she desired to devote her entire life to God. Her parents, opposed to her vow of virginity, forced her to marry Valerian of Trastevere, however Cecilia converted Valerian to Christianity and convinced him to respect and honor her virginity. Valerian’s brother Tiburtius also converted to Christianity and the two in turn dedicated their lives in service to others. In particular, the two brothers were known for giving Christian burials to those who were martyred for the faith. Because of their faith, Valerian and Tiburtius were martyred. Cecilia had the two buried near her home on the Appian Way in Rome, an act for which she was arrested. When she refused to denounce her faith by making sacrifices to false gods, she too was martyred. Cecilia is often pictured with musical instruments; this is an allusion to her forced marriage. According to legend, while Cecilia listened to secular music being played at her wedding, she sang Christian hymns in her heart. For this reason, Cecilia is associated with music and song; because of this connection, images of Saint Cecilia are often found in churches near organs and choir areas. There is no doubt that this is the reason why our window of the saint is very close to the choir loft area (a place no longer used by our choir, and that features only the facade of the original organ). The saint is also pictured wearing a crown; it is said that she was crowned by an angel because of her vow of virginity. Notice the martyrs palm branch laying on the ground near Cecilia’s feet. Martyrs are typically pictured with such palms; it is pictured here on the ground because Cecilia uses her hands to hold the musical instrument. Cecilia is the patron saint of composers, martyrs, music, musical instrument makers, poets and singers.
         This window was a gift of the St. Cecilia Society, and of Gustaf Nahngartner, Casper Berner and the family of Joseph Kunz.

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Window #15
St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

The regal clothes Saint Cecilia wears in this window are an allusion to her patrician lineage.  Cecilia is often pictured with musical instruments; it is said that while she listened to secular music being played at her wedding, she sang Christian hymns in her heart, hence her connection to music and song. The saint is also pictured wearing a crown; it is said that she was crowned by an angel because of her vow of virginity.  Notice too the martyrs palm branch laying on the ground near Cecilia’s feet.



Saint Vincent de Paul

         The image on this window depicts Saint Vincent de Paul (celebrated on September 27th). Vincent de Paul was born into a poor peasant family in the southwest of France in 1581. As a youngster he showed signs of great intelligence and was given the opportunity to study in a school run by Franciscan friars. His earliest inspiration to the vocation of priesthood was not particularly laudable; he believed that by becoming a priest he could escape a life of poverty, and so by the age of nineteen he was ordained. His early years of priesthood were not particularly inspiring, as he made great efforts to cultivate friendships with wealthy people and attempted to live as comfortable a life as possible. During his mid-twenties he spent two years in captivity, having been captured during a sea voyage and then sold into slavery by Turkish pirates. Vincent managed to escape his enslavement after converting one of his captors to Christianity. He returned to France and worked as a parish priest during which time he experienced a personal conversion of sorts. After a period of depression and a time when he even questioned his faith, Vincent experienced a spiritual renewal that would profoundly affect his ministry for the rest of his life. At that time he began to understand that as a Christian and as a priest, his life and ministry should be dedicated to service to the poor. He began to believe strongly in the great dignity of each human person as a child of God. Vincent took on the task of reaching out to the sick, the poor, the marginalized of society and to those who were complete outcasts. In service to the poor, Vincent eventually established a community of men called the Congregation of the Mission (today known as the Vincentians), a community of women called the Daughters of Charity (an effort done with the help of St. Louise de Marillac) and an organization of wealthy socially-conscious women called the Ladies of Charity. Another of Vincent’s accomplishments was his work to improve seminaries so that young men would be better prepared to serve as priests. Modern day followers of St. Vincent de Paul continue to evangelize and to serve the poor; they continue to work in seminaries preparing men for the priesthood. Vincent died in 1660 in Paris, France and was canonized 1737. He is pictured in our window wearing the robes of a priest. He holds in his hands a small boy; the child represents the poor and the sick whom Vincent tirelessly served. Vincent is the patron saint of charitable societies, hospital workers, hospitals, lepers, lost articles, prisoners and volunteers.
        This window was a gift of the Orphan Society and Philipp Auer.

Window #16
St. Vincent de Paul

Saint Vincent de Paul is pictured in our window wearing the robes of a priest. He holds in his hands a small boy; the child represents the poor and the sick whom Vincent tirelessly served.

 

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Saint Stanislaus Kostka

         The image in this window depicts Saint Stanislaus Kostka (celebrated on November 13th). Stanislaus (1550-1568) was born into a wealthy Polish family; his father was an official in the Polish government. As a teenager Stanislaus was sent, along with his brother Paul and a companion named Bilinski, to a Jesuit school in Vienna, Austria. At the school in Vienna Stanislaus joined the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The school’s Sodality was under the patronage of St. Barbara, whom Stanislaus took as his own patron saint. For two years during their time in Vienna, Stanislaus, Paul and Bilinski rented rooms in the house of a wealthy Lutheran family. Unlike Paul and Bilinski, Stanislaus was known for his great piety and devotion; his brother often teased him because of this and at times their relationship was quite strained. When he was sixteen, Stanislaus fell gravely ill with a fever and it was thought that he might die. Paul and Bilinski refused to call a priest so that Stanislaus might receive the Holy Viaticum (often called “the last rites”). It is believed that they did not allow Stanislaus to receive the Holy Viaticum because they feared they would anger their Lutheran landlord if they allowed a Catholic priest into the house. Suffering with illness and distressed because of his inability to receive Holy Communion, Stanislaus prayed to his patron St. Barbara “that he might not die without receiving the Holy Viaticum.” One night shortly thereafter two angels accompanied by St. Barbara appeared to Stanislaus and they brought him Holy Communion. For this reason, our window pictures an angel ministering Holy Communion to the saint. After that, Stanislaus thought he would die very soon, but a few days later the Blessed Mother appeared to him and said “you will not die; you must end your days in the society that bears my Son's name . . . you must become a Jesuit." The Blessed Mother cured Stanislaus of the fever; shortly after that he sought to enter the Jesuit Order, a desire rejected by his parents and family and even initially by the Jesuits too. Nonetheless, Stanislaus was persistent and eventually entered the Jesuit novitiate in Rome. While a novice, Stanislaus again became sick; his illness severe, he died on the Feast of the Assumption, August 14, 1568. It is said that the Blessed Mother appeared to Stanislaus as he lay dying, at which moment he uttered “she is here, as she was in Vienna . . . now she will take me with her.” Stanislaus is the patron of broken bones, the last rites, novices and oblate aspirants.
        This window was a gift of the Christian Boys Society.
 

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Window #17
St. Stanislaus Kostka

Because he was staying in the home of a Lutheran family, Stanislaus was not permitted to receive communion or the last rites when he was gravely ill with a fever.  However, the saint prayed to his patron St. Barbara “that he might not die without receiving the Holy Viaticum.” One night shortly thereafter two angels accompanied by St. Barbara appeared to Stanislaus and they brought him Holy Communion. For this reason, our window pictures an angel ministering Holy Communion to the saint.



Saint Balbina

         The image in this window depicts Saint Balbina (celebrated on March 31st). Frankly, little is known about Saint Balbina, who is said to have been martyred in the year 130 A.D.. It is believed she lived a life of compete chastity, never getting married. Some think that she lived an early form of religious life similar to that of monastic nuns. After her martyrdom it is reported that she was buried in the ancient catacombs of Rome. In modern day Rome there are three different locations with memorials to Saint Balbina, but it is said that her relics were eventually transferred to the Cathedral of Cologne, Germany–possibly the reason that early parishioners of Most Holy Trinity, who were German, venerated her and found it appropriate to dedicate this window to her (not to mention that one of the donors was named Balbina). Balbina was the daughter of Saint Quirinus who had been elected by the people as a Roman Tribune. The two were martyred together during a persecution of Christians, an event recorded in the account of the martyrdom of Saint Alexander, another saint about whom little is known. Balbina is pictured in this window wearing fine robes, an indication that she was from a wealthy family; she wears a laurel crown that symbolizes the victory of martyrdom; Balbina holds the martyrs palm branch with her left hand and chains and fetters with her right. The fetters, used to shackle the ankles of those being led to martyrdom, are now a symbol of the Christian’s victory over death. Balbina is the patron saint of those afflicted by scrofula (a form of tuberculosis affecting the lymph nodes).
         This window was a gift of Joseph and Balbina Zoll.

 

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Window #18
St. Balbina

Saint Balbina is pictured wearing fine robes, an indication that she was from a wealthy family; she wears a laurel crown that symbolizes the victory of martyrdom; the saint holds the martyrs palm branch with her left hand and chains and fetters with her right.



Saint Martin of Tours

         The image in this window depicts Saint Martin of Tours (celebrated on November 11th). Martin was born in the year 316 A.D. in the Roman Province of Pannonia (an area that now includes modern Hungary). He died in the year 397 in Tours, France. During his childhood, Martin’s parents were not Christians; his father was an officer in the Roman military as well as an elected Roman Tribune. Attracted to Christianity as a young teenager, Martin began his conversion process by becoming a catechumen in the Church. As a catechumen, Martin began his life-long commitment to serving others and to the avoidance of taking advantage of the less fortunate. At the age of fifteen he joined the Roman military and was assigned first to a ceremonial unit and then as a Cavalry officer. One day as Martin was traveling by horse he came upon a poor beggar, but having nothing to offer him, the Calvary officer-to-be-saint tore his own tunic and gave one half to the misfortunate man. It is said that in a later vision Martin saw that the beggar was actually Jesus himself. After a lengthy catechumenate Martin was baptized at the age of eighteen; thereafter he refused to enter into military conflict, citing his faith as the reason. Arrested for cowardice, Martin was sent to jail with the promise that he would be placed on the front lines in the next battle (a de facto death sentence). The battle however, never occurred, and Martin was released and discharged from the military. Martin lived at a time during which there were great struggles within the Christian faith; heresies and divisions plagued the Church. Martin himself was persecuted by Arian Christians who rejected his Catholic faith. For ten years, between 361 and 371 Martin lived as a hermit in an area of France called Ligugé. While he was a hermit his reputation for holiness spread throughout the region and other men began to join him in his way of life; this community of monks eventually became the Benedictine Abbey of Ligugé. When Lidorius, the Bishop of Tours, died in 371 Martin was chosen to replace him. Although Martin at first declined his election as bishop, he reluctantly accepted the ministry when the people of Tours declared him their spiritual leader by popular acclamation; he was consecrated as the Bishop of Tours on July 4, 372. Even as bishop, Martin continued to live as a monk, but he never failed to lead his people and to defend their causes. When he died, Martin was first buried in a cemetery for the poor; later his relics were transferred to the Basilica of Tours where they remained until being destroyed in a Protestant revolt in 1562. Martin of Tours is the patron saint against poverty; he is the patron of beggars, cavalry, equestrians, horses, innkeepers, reformed alcoholics, soldiers, tailors and wine makers.
        This window was a gift of the St. Martin Society.

Window #19
St. Martin of Tours

Although Saint Martin first declined his election as bishop, he reluctantly accepted the ministry when the people of Tours declared him their spiritual leader by popular acclamation; he was consecrated as the Bishop of Tours on July 4, 372.

 

 

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Saint James the Apostle

          The image in this window depicts Saint James the Greater, son of Zebedee (celebrated on July 25th). Saint James is the patron of the Diocese of Brooklyn. James, a fisherman like his father before him, was the brother of the John; James and John were some of the first to be called to follow Jesus as his apostles. According to Scriptures, Jesus gave James the name “Boanerges” or “Son of Thunder;” it is believed that Jesus called him this because James had great enthusiasm and zeal for preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God. This James is called “the Greater” because he was called before the other apostle James who is known as “the Lesser.” It is believed that James the Greater preached extensively and went as far as Spain to bring the message of the Christian faith to others. James was the first apostle to be martyred, a death he endured by being pierced with a sword at the hands of King Herod Agrippa in the year 44 A.D. When he died, it is said that his body was miraculously transferred to Compostela, Spain where it was likewise miraculously entombed inside a huge rock. Compostela became an important pilgrimage destination during the Middle Ages, a place where it is said that many miracles have occurred over the centuries. Because pilgrimages to Compostela and the grave of the saint became so popular, people began to associate James with pilgrimages. In the Middle Ages people would often bring back shells from places where they had made pilgrimages as proof that they had been there; consequently, sea shells became a symbol of James the Greater. In our window, James is pictured with a walking staff and a gourd bottle; these too are symbols of those on pilgrimage (the staff to help the pilgrim to walk long distances and the bottle so that he or she might have an ample supply of water). The saint is also pictured with an open book; in art, books and scrolls are typically held by the apostles. Because of his missionary work in Spain and the presence of his tomb there, James became known as the Patron Saint of Spain; he has been a symbol of the country and of other places influenced by Spanish culture and language (“Santiago,” a form of “Saint James” in Spanish, is a popular Spanish name and is the name of many cities throughout the world). James is the patron saint of arthritis sufferers, blacksmiths, equestrians, knights, laborers, pharmacists, pilgrims, rheumatoid sufferers, soldiers, Spain and veterinarians.
         This window was a gift of the St. Jacob Society and Elizabeth Ganter.

 

Window #20
St. James the Apostle

Saint James is pictured with a walking staff and a gourd bottle; these are symbols of those on pilgrimage (the staff to help the pilgrim to walk long distances and the bottle so that he or she might have an ample supply of water). The saint is also pictured with an open book; in art, books and scrolls are typically held by the apostles.

 

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Saint Raphael the Archangel

       The image in this window depicts Saint Raphael the Archangel (celebrated on September 29th). The name Raphael means “healer of God.” Raphael is one of the Seven Archangels who stand guard at the Throne of God in heaven. He is first mentioned by name in the Scriptures in the Book of Tobit. In the story, the Archangel guides the young Tobiah, the son of Tobit, on a journey from Nineveh to Media where the youth was to collect money owed to his father, who had many misfortunes and had fallen ill and become blind. In Media a woman named Sarah had been praying for relief from her misfortunes; Sarah had lost seven consecutive husbands on their wedding nights when each was killed by the demon Asmodeus. In response to the prayers of both Tobit and Sarah, the Archangel Raphael, unknown to anyone as an Angel of God, was sent to guide Tobiah on the journey from one city to the other. On the way, Tobiah was attacked by a large fish while washing his feet in the Tigris River. The Archangel told him to seize the fish so that they might use its gall, heart and liver as medicines. After his arrival in Media, Tobiah was able to recover his father’s money and he eventually married Sarah; he used the fish’s heart and liver as a weapon on their wedding night and destroyed the demon Asmodeus. After he returned to Nineveh, Tobiah rubbed the fish gall into his father’s eyes and the old man was cured of his blindness. Raphael then revealed his true identity and returned to heaven. The Book of Tobit, and the story of Tobiah and Sarah end after Tobit and his wife died and were buried, Tobiah and Sarah returned to live in Media, and Nineveh was destroyed because of its wickedness. In this window the Archangel Raphael is seen holding a type of flask symbolizing a container holding medicine he uses to cure disease. Tobiah the youth is seen holding a travelers walking staff and a sack for the journey. The Archangel guides Tobiah by the hand. Raphael is the patron saint of the blind and those with eye problems, those with bodily ills, doctors, guardian angels, happy meetings, love, lovers, those who suffer with mental illness, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, shepherds, travelers and young people.
         This window was a gift of the St. Rafael Society and Philip and Catherine Schmitt.

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Window #21
St. Raphael the Archangel

The Archangel Raphael is seen holding a type of flask symbolizing a container holding medicine he uses to cure disease.  The youth Tobiah, who's story is told in the Old Testament Book of Tobit, is seen holding a travelers walking staff and a sack for the journey. The Archangel guides Tobiah by the hand.


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