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Featured Window

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

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Building Name: Trinity Episcopal Church

Studio Name: Wippell, (J.) & Co., Ltd.

City: Alpena

Window Shape: 3 (arched)

Subject/Title of Window: St. Boniface

Brief Description of Subject: St. Boniface with crozier. An axe lies next to a cut down tree.

Study our window beyond the gate in the narthex, and you will see an axe. This unlikely church symbol helps to depict St. Boniface, a native of Devonshire who evangelized in Germany in the 8th century.

Boniface is rightly regarded to be among the "Makers of Europe." As Bishop of Mainz, he anointed Pippin King of the Franks, paving the way for Pippin's son, Charlemagne, to revive a unified Christian dominion on the Continent. In 753, he resigned his see to spend his last years again as a missionary in Frisia. On June 5, 754, while waiting to convert a group of converts, he and his companions were murdered by a band of pagans. His body was buried near Mainz, in a monastery he had founded in 744.

So, now you might think you know the reason for the axe - that it was used against Boniface. But no, it was actually used by Boniface. In at least one instance, he chopped down oak trees worshipped by the pagans he encountered. Boniface's prophetic action maybe succeeded in making his point with some about the inefficacy of trees. It might also have incurred the enmity of those who killed him. No matter: he's a poor candidate for the Sierra Club.

Take it as a reminder that the saints are not perfect persons to whose status we can never aspire. Though represented in beautiful stained glass, "the saints of God are just folk like me, and I mean to be one too." (Hymn 293)

Inscriptions: Saint Boniface

Height: 87"

Width: 26"

Type of Glass and Technique: Antique or Cathedral Glass, Enamel Paint, Lead Came, Vitreous Paint

St. Boniface
St. Boniface

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