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Window of the Month
Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Building Name: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel

Studio Name: Emil Frei Associates, Inc.

City: Livonia

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

Subject/Title of Window: The Four Gospel Writers, and The Four Cardinal Virtues

Brief Description of Subject: This two lancet aisle window is located on the epistle side of the public seating section of the Chapel. All aisle windows and transept windows have the same basic pattern, two lancet windows, the top symbol in each lancet sets the topic for that lancet, and the four symbols below are each encased in a geometrical shape surrounded by grisaille glass. The border and filler color used, like the geometric shape, is unique to the section of the Chapel they are located in --- the public section uses an ovalish shape and the color of amber.
The left lancet features the most widely used symbols for the writers of the Gospels In the Bible. Their origin is from the writings of Bishop Irenaes (c.130 - c.202). It was a time when theologians were attempting to identify the most important papers in Christianity. Of the many biographies (Gospels) of Christ, Irenaes thought that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were the important ones and he went on to postulate there can only be four Gospels. He based this on the importance of 4 --- for example there are only four directions, North, South, East, and West. He also pointed out in the book we call Revelation, there are exactly four winged creatures that surround the throne of Christ --- "The first was a living creature like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face of a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle" (Revelation 4:6 - 8). Assigning which creature went with which Gospel writer took centuries to standardize as there was much disagreement.
Starting at the top.
The Book of Gospels pointing to the subject of the lancet is the four writers of the Gospels.
Matthew is the winged human as his Gospel begins with the genealogy of Jesus --- emphasizing Jesus' human nature.
Luke is the winged ox as his Gospel begins with the priest Zacharias in the temple, a place where he would perform sacrifices --- the ox is an animal of sacrifice.
Mark is the winged lion as his Gospel begins with John the Baptist as "the voice of one crying in the wilderness" --- this voice is like the roar of a lion.
John is the eagle as his Gospel begins with "the word was made flesh" emphasizing Jesus' divine nature --- the eagle soars high toward heaven.
The right lancet features the Four Cardinal Virtues which are found in Wisdom 8:7, (Wisdom being personified as a woman) "Or if it be uprightousness you love, why, virtues are the first fruit of her labours, since it is she who teaches, temperance, and prudence, justice and fortitude, nothing in life is more useful."
Starting at the top
A Bible opened to the Book of Wisdom.
Prudence is symbolized by a sieve which can separate right from wrong, the desirable from the undesirable.
Justice is symbolized by the scales of Justice.
Temperance is symbolized by a hooded flame. A hood serves as a safety feature to keep the fire under control.
Fortitude is symbolized by a pillar, a symbol of strength, a strong foundation, and the leaf and an acorn from an oak tree which are symbols for strength of faith and virtue.
The date is unknown, but this window was in place by 1944.

Height: 11'

Width: 6'

The Four Gospel Writers, and The Four Cardinal Virtues
The Four Gospel Writers, and The Four Cardinal Virtues
The Book of Gospels, Matthew, Luke
The Book of Gospels, Matthew, Luke
Mark, John
Mark, John
The Book of Wisdom, Prudence, Justice
The Book of Wisdom, Prudence, Justice
Temperance, Fortitude
Temperance, Fortitude

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