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Featured Window

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

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Building Name: Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Studio Name: Willet Hauser Architectural Glass

City: Detroit

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

Subject/Title of Window: The Geneological Tree of Christ

Brief Description of Subject: The genealogy of Christ is important as it fulfills the Davidic Covenant that the Messiah would be a descendant of David. This tree-like representation of that genealogy is called a "Jessie Tree" as that idea comes from Isaiah 11:1 (referring to the Messiah) "And a shoot will come from the stump of Jessie (father of David); from his roots a Branch will bear fruit (Christ)." The genealogy of Christ used here is based on Matt. 1-16 and uses the spellings from the Douay-Rheims edition.

The form of a Jessie Tree is pretty standard -- at the bottom (root) of the window is Jessie and "trunk" with "branches" rising up topped with Christ (fruit). In the Gothic period, as here, the representations usually had Jesus and Mary rather than just Jesus at the top. The branches do not necessarily have direct ancestors of Christ as prophets as well as other Old Testament figures are found there. Almost all "Jessie Trees" included David and Solomon.

The window's scene is made up of 20 rectangles --- 12 make up the actual "tree", 4 are angels and 4 are stories from the Old Testaments.

Identifying the content of each rectangle row by row:
Row 1:
a) Angel with Lyre
b) Angel with start of quote from Luke 2:11
c) Madonna and Child
d) Angel with rest of quote from Luke 2:11
e) Angel with timbrel

Row 2:
a) Sadoc the Priest
b) Jacob
c) Solomon
d) Joseph
e) Mathan ?

Row 3:
a) Zorobabel
b) Roboam
c) David
d) Isaiah quote to Ahaz Isaiah 7:14
e) Josias

Row 4:
a) Manoah and wife's story found in Judges 13
b) Isaiah's dream found in Isaiah 6:1-6
c) Jessie
d) Abraham's story from Genesis 17
e) Malachi story from Malachi 4:1-5

From the Guide to the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Copyright 1958, Archdiocese of Detroit.
Predominant is the figure of Mary holding the Divine Infant in her arms.  Beneath her is one of her ancestors, Solomon, holding a small model of the Temple he built in Jerusalem.  Under him is his father, King David, chief author of the Psalms, source of earthly royalty in the ancestry of Christ.  In his hand is a harp, symbol of his poetic genius.  At the bottom of the center lancet is David’s father Jesse.  From him proceeded the royal line that was to reach its zenith in the Redeemer.  To the right can be seen St. Joseph, husband of Mary and foster-father of Christ.  Immediately to the left of center is jacob, the son of Abraham who was the father of the Jewish people.  In the smaller panels are represented the visions of Manoah, Isaias, Abraham, and Malachias.  All look ahead to the coming of the Messias, the Son of David who was to be born of a Virgin.

Height: ~30'

Width: 18'

The Geneological Tree of Christ
The Geneological Tree of Christ
The Geneological Tree of Christ scene
The Geneological Tree of Christ scene
Angel with Lyre
Angel with Lyre
Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child
Abraham's story from Genesis 17
Abraham's story from Genesis 17

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