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

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Featured Windows, March 1998

Starr Commonwealth Chapel, Albion, MI

Building: Chapel in the Woods; Starr Commonwealth

City: Albion

State: Michigan

The Saint Francis Window at the Starr Commonwealth Chapel portrays the venerated saint surrounded by birds and other creatures he called his "brothers." He is wearing the brown habit of the Franciscan Order that he founded upon the rules of chastity, humility, obedience and poverty. Born in ca.1182 in Assisi, Francis renounced his family's wealth in favor of a life of poverty and consecration to God. Many miracles are attributed to St. Francis. He is often pictured with birds and animals, which were said to sit quietly in his presence as he talked to them. The story is told that when he instructed the birds to praise God for his blessings, they flew away in the formation of a cross. St. Francis of Assisi died in 1226 and was canonized in 1228.

Starr Commonwealth was founded by Floyd Starr in 1913 as a home for boys. The Chapel was dedicated in 1950. The Saint Francis Window was created by Wilbur Herbert Burnham, of the W. H. Burnham Studios at Boston. It was donated to Starr Commonwealth in 1954 by Mr. Burnham and his wife, Etta Miller Burnham, to whom the window is dedicated.

Starr Commonwealth Chapel of Albion was registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Don Riley of Marshall.

(MSGC 1994.0084)

Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, March , 1998.