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Window of the Month
Detroit Institute of Arts

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Window

Building Name: Central United Methodist Church

Studio Name: Giannini & Hilgart

City: Muskegon

Date of Window: 1930

Subject/Title of Window: St. Raphael

Brief Description of Subject: One of six side aisle windows that depicts heavenly beings as described in the Bible and apocryphal writings. Although seldom seen in Michigan's stained glass windows, they have been represented throughout the Christian era in various ways, based upon differing literary sources, traditions and artistic aims. According to early Christian writings and traditions, heavenly beings are divided into three categories or hierarchies, each with special responsibilities. The first hierarchy, who surround God in perpetual adoration, includes the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. The second hierarchy, seen as governors of the stars and the elements, includes three types of heavenly beings known as Dominations (or Dominions), Virtues and Powers. Within the third hierarchy of heavenly beings are the Princedoms, who protect earthly kingdoms, and the Archangels and Angels, divine messengers of God to man. Four Archangels are mentioned by name in early Christian texts: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. The Archangel Raphael, whose name means "God heals," is traditionally identified with the healing waters of the pool of Bethesda, described in the Book of John. He is often depicted holding a walking stick and a fish, a reference to his travels with young Tobias, as recounted in the apocryphal Book of Tobit.

St. Raphael
St. Raphael

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