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Featured Window

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

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Building Name: St. Mary's of Redford Church

City: Redford

Window Shape: 3 (arched)

Subject/Title of Window: Gate of Heaven

Brief Description of Subject: The clerestory windows are designed to let light into the Church and all have the same design --- a wide border of stylized lilies and three medallions. The center medallion will contain a symbol for an avocation found in the Litany of Loreto. The avocation symbolized in this window is "Gate of Heaven, Pray for us."

Pictured is a house of God. The use of this as a symbol for "Gate of Heaven" comes from Jacob's dream at Bethel found in Genesis 28. Jacob dreamed of a stairway to heaven with angels climbing up and down, and at the top was the Lord. The Lord then reiterated the covenant he had made to Abraham. "And when Jacob awakened out of sleep, he said: Indeed the Lord Is in this place, and I knew not. And trembling, he said: How terrible [causing me terror] is this place! This is no other but the house of God and the gate of heaven." (Genesis 28:16-17 Douay Rheims)

Mary as the "Gate of Heaven," comes from St. Ambrose and St. Augustine's interpretation of Ezekiel 44"1-3 (Douay Rheims) --- "And he brought me back to the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary, which looked towards the east: and it was shut. And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered it, and it shall be shut." Their interpretation was this gate was a type for the Virgin Mary --- Mary was the gate through which Jesus entered the world and then that gate was shut, Mary remained a virgin.

Height: ~64"

Width: 36"

Gate of Heaven, photo by Robert J. Scott
Gate of Heaven, photo by Robert J. Scott
Gate of Heaven, exterior
Gate of Heaven, exterior

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.

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