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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: Cathedral of St. Paul

Studio Name: Willet Hauser Architectural Glass

City: Detroit

Window Shape: 5 (gothic arched, 2 vertical sections)

Subject/Title of Window: The Apocalypse

Brief Description of Subject: The Greek word "Apocalypse" means a revealing of knowledge. The Biblical "Book of Revelation" is actually a letter written by John of Patmos to seven Christian communities in Asia Minor. The beginning verses of the letter (Rev.1:1-3) relates that all of what is written was a revelation from Jesus Christ.

At the top of the quatrefoil in the canopy is the "morning star" which is a symbol for Jesus --- (Rev. 22:16) "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star." Seen in the cusps of the quatrefoil are the Greek letters "Alpha" and "Omega" --- (Rev. 1:8) Jesus identifies himself as "I am the Alpha and the Omega." In the center of the quatrefoil is a book with seven seals --- found in Rev.5:6. Under the quatrefoil and continued at the top of the lancets is the city called the "New Jerusalem" found in Rev.21:2.

All of the capitalized words are the inscriptions found on this window.

Christ is pictured in the large scene in the left lancet. In Revelation Chapter 1, John heard a loud voice and when he turned around he saw, a figure dressed in royal garments and in his right hand were seven stars. The figure identified himself by saying (Rev.1:18-19) "I AM HE THAT LIVETH, AND WAS DEAD; AND, BEHOLD, I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, Amen, AND HAVE THE KEYS OF HELL AND DEATH, WRITE THE THINGS WHICH THOU HAST SEEN, and the things that are, and the things which shall be hereafter." Note that the second part of the inscription which appears on the window was not written correctly, so have written it here as it appears in KJV. The scene shows Jesus dressed in kingly garb carrying a scepter and the Virgin Mary with the Christ child --- this comes from Rev.12:1-5 where a woman appears clothed with the sun and the "Woman gave birth to a son, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter." The Crucifixion picture references the inscription "I am he that liveth, and was dead." To the right of Christ's head is a Christogram.

The large scene and inscriptions in the right lancet come from Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation. In these chapters, Jesus identifies a problem that each of the 7 communities faces and then what should be done about it. The verses to each church begins with "To the angel of the Church in _______ write:" and ends with "HE THAT HATH AN EAR LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES." The scene in the lancet is inscribed with the name of each Church (city with a Christian community) --- EPHESUS, SMYRNA, PERGAMOS, THYATIRA, SARDIS, LAODICEA, and PHILADELPHIA." At the end of Revelation chapter 1, Jesus has identified the seven stars that he had in his right hand as the angels of the seven churches; next to the name of each church is depicted an angel with a star on its forehead.

The two small scenes and their inscriptions are from what was written to the angel for Laodicea (Rev.3:14-21) --- "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: (Synopsis) You are complacent in the practice of your faith, this is unacceptable. (verses 19-21) "AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN: BE ZEALOUS THERFORE, AND REPENT. BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR, AND KNOCK: IF ANY MAN hear my voice, and OPEN the door, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, and sup with him, and he with me. TO HIM THAT OVERCOMETH WILL I GRANT TO SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE ... He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the Churches."

A quote from the notes for the tour guide "This window is in memory of Standish Backus whose love for the Cathedral is symbolized in the memorial inscription reproducing the top of the Cathedral façade and an architects triangle and T-square. Standish Backus was known professionally for being Secretary of General Motors and then President of the Burroughs Adding Machine Company. The shield on the right is from the coat of arms of the Backus family, the remainder of the coat of arms consisted of a torch on each side --- these appear at the top of the lancets in the hands of an angel. Was not able to relate the shield on the left to Standish Backus.

Inscriptions: To the Glory of God and in Loving memory of Standish Backus
Sola Salus Servire Deo
Born 1875 Died 1943
I have the things of hell and death write the keys which thou hast seen
I am he that liveth and was dead and behold I am alive for evermore
Behold I stand at the door and knock if any man open, I will come unto him
He that hath an ear let him hear what the spirit say unto the churches
Ephesus Sardis Smyrna Thyaria Philidephia Laodlicea
As many as love rebuke and chasten
Be zealous therefore and repent
To him that overcometh wil I grant to sit with me in my throne


Height: 20'

Width: 6'

Type of Glass and Technique: Antique or Cathedral Glass, Lead Came, Vitreous Paint, Silver Stain, Etching or Sandblasting

The Apocalypse
The Apocalypse
The Morning Star
The Morning Star
Jesus
Jesus
Laodicea
Laodicea
Memorial
Memorial
The Apocalypse, Willet Studio sketch
The Apocalypse, Willet Studio sketch
The Apocalypse left, sketch
The Apocalypse left, sketch
The Apocalypse right, sketch
The Apocalypse right, sketch

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