Holy Cross Window Saints
Images of Matthew, Mark and Luke have joined the image of St. John in our sanctuary.
St. Matthew is symbolized by an angel or winged man, St. Mark by a winged lion, St. Luke by a winged bull and St. John by an eagle.
These iconographic representations of the evangelists come from the Book of Kells. The book has a connection with St. Columcille (Columba) - the third window from the east on the southern nave of Holy Cross - and is sometimes called the Book of Columba, since by tradition it survived Viking raids on Iona from at least the 9th century.
Nothing is little about everyday holiness, but it is simple and that is the message of the "little" way of holiness. Revolutionary for its time, St. Therese championed the idea that a call to holiness was not simply the province of priests or religious. Consonant with Pope Francis' Year of Mercy, she petitioned to be allowed to dedicate herself to the merciful suffering of Jesus.
It's not easy to keep track of Therese since her name itself has been spelled many ways and can also be properly appended with "Child of Jesus" and "Jesus of the Holy Face."
Our stained glass window shows her youthful beauty, her contemplation of cross with Jesus crucified and garlands of roses falling from her arms and Carmelite habit. Each is a clue about her life, which is certainly worth study. As a Doctor of the Church, her autobiography, A Story of a Soul, a good biography or writings about her spirituality are accessible and fruitful for spiritual seekers of all ages.
Today is St. Michael's feast day and the first time we have had a stained glass window of this saint in our church on his feast day.
Our window shows him clad in the armor of God brandishing a sword of flame and vanquishing Lucifer. On the shield above his head is emblazoned "Quis ut Deus," "Who is like God?" The scale at the top of the window recalls Michael's traditional role in weighing the souls of the just for entry into heaven.
Beside the role of St. Michael defeating Lucifer and other rebellious angels for the battle of heaven, he has also been considered a kind of shuttle-angel, being sent to souls near death for a final opportunity to express sorrow for sins and be escorted to heaven.
Michael is invoked as the patron saint of those in the military, firefighters, police and the sick. Pope Leo XIII added a prayer of exorcism to St. Michael at the end of the mass.
St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host cast into hell Satan and all the evils spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen