Friday, September 25, 2009


You were brilliant last week and I hoped to employ your assistance once again. I want to teach my “Saint, Signs, and Symbols” class but part of the class is a tour of whatever parish I happen to be in pointing out and explaining all of the symbolism contained therein. Before I teach the class at Saint Sebastian I want to catalogue all the symbolism here and it is taking a long time since I can only do it in my spare time.

There are a number of resources here put together by various people. One of the best was by a former parochial vicar, Fr. Robert Jackson. It has been invaluable in project. There are some pieces however that are not mentioned in any of the resources such as they windows presented to you last week and although mostly an excellent job, there are a couple I strongly disagree with. Such is the case with the window presented today.

It is one of the windows in connection with the Saint Anne Shrine. Here there is a statue of Saint Anne teaching the young Virgin Mary about God. The description of the window in the parish directory reads thusly: “The left window recalls that Mary is the pure one (lily), full of grace (doves), chosen by God and now Queen (crown).

I’d like to hear your opinion (yea or nay) and if nay your alternate explanation of the symbol. I will publish mine either Tuesday or Friday. (I don’t want to influence your interpretation with what I think I see.)


Pat said...

Father, I have an old statuette of St. Ann and little Mary which I thought was unusual because both of them wear crowns, similar to the one in the window (a crown coming to a single point in the center). St. Ann might possibly be called a "queen dowager," in the sense that she has a relation other than mother to the "reigning monarch" (Jesus), as his grandmother.

Pat said...

Regarding the doves, I know that first born males were "ransomed" 40 days after birth, according to Jewish custom. Is there some old tradition that Mary was "presented" in the temple as well? Otherwise, could the doves refer to the purity of her parents?

Adoro said...

Am studying Mariology this semester and the explanation given for the window seems plausible to me.

I have to say, though, without your explanation I wouldn't have recognized a lily (still can't but for the stem), would only have guessed at doves, and had NO IDEA that thing was supposed to be a crown.

If if, in fact, that's what is pictured, well, then the explanation makes sense.