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Window of the Month
St. Paul's Catholic Church, Onaway, Michigan: artists Peter and Christel Brahm

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Window

Building Name: St. John's Episcopal Church

Studio Name: Wippell, (J.) & Co., Ltd.

City: Detroit

Window Shape: 6 (gothic arched, over 2 vertical sections)

Date of Window: 1963

Subject/Title of Window: The Triumphant Christ

Brief Description of Subject: In her book "Discovering Stained Glass in Detroit," Nola Tutag commented that this "window with bold tracery above, is made entirely of hand-blown pot-metal glass from England, Germany, and France. The window, executed in mosaic style and with the decorative detachment of the Middle Ages, displays a rich background with a variety of colors shown in the garments of the saints, but all subordinated to the vivid red of Christ's robes".

The canopy features islands of glass in blue shades, almost all containing at least one gold star. The pattern is best seen in the tracery viewed from the outside.

The scene is dominated by the triumphant Christ reigning as king over the New Jerusalem. Christ, with stigmata and radiating light from his head serving as a crosspiece, appears posed on a cross. Above Christ can be seen the right hand of the Father and the dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit. The seven tongues of fire represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit received at Baptism. Near Christ's feet are laurel leaves, the symbol of victory. Beneath the New Jerusalem is Christ's blood flowing into a chalice --- "This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for the remission of sin." (Matthew 26:28 KJV)

To the left of Christ is the Archangel Michael with shield and fiery sword. Michael is the warrior angel that drove out Satan from heaven in Revelation 12:7 - 9. Above his head are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet --- "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord." Revelation 1:8 KJV

To the right of Christ is the Archangel Raphael. He appears in the Old Testament "Book of Tobit." The ailing Tobit sends his son Tobias to collect a debt in a far away village. Tobias hires a guide for the trip. Unbeknownst to him the guide is Raphael. On the journey, they catch a fish and Raphael uses parts of the fish to preform miracles of healing. Raphael is the patron of healing as well as pilgrims. He is seen here with his attributes, a fish, and carrying a pilgrim's staff. Above Raphael's head are the capital Greek letters "Chi" and "Rho" --- the first two letters in the ancient Greek word for "Christ."

At the bottom right is John the Evangelist, patron of this Church, kneeling and holding an eagle. By his knees are a quill pen atop a book and an hour glass. In Revelation 4:6 - 8, there are four winged creatures that surround the throne. These have come to symbolize the four Gospel writers; John's is the eagle. The quill pen and book are attributes of a writer of scriptures. The hourglass is a symbol of our mortality. In olden times it was not unusual for the deceased to be buried with an hourglass --- time ran out. The hourglass most likely refers to the inscription at the bottom of the window which is John 1:4 (KJV). In the inscription John is saying "Through Christ is eternal life."

The window is in memory of John L. Edwards, long time organist and Musical Director and Irvin C. Johnson, rector from 1934 -1962. Although their names are not inscribed on the window, their professions can be seen at the bottom left --- patroness of Music, St. Cecelia with harp, and articles associated with an ordained priest, the "Book of Gospels" and a stole which is worn during the administering of sacraments.

Inscriptions: IN HIM WAS LIFE & THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN


Condition of Window: good

Height: ~18'

Width: 9'

The Triumphant Christ
The Triumphant Christ
The Triumphant Christ canopy
The Triumphant Christ canopy
The Triumphant Christ, close-up
The Triumphant Christ, close-up
The Triumphant Christ, outside
The Triumphant Christ, outside

The MSGC is a constantly evolving database. Not all the data that has been collected by volunteers has been sorted and entered. Not every building has been completely documented.

All images in the Index are either born-digital photographs of windows or buildings or are scans of slides, prints, or other published sources. These images have been provided by volunteers and the quality of the material varies widely.

If you have any questions, additions or corrections, or think you can provide better images and are willing to share them, please contact donald20@msu.edu