Friday, October 2, 2009


Alright. Here is my go at the window from last week. Tell me what you think. First the lily. IMHO this is not directly referring to Mary but a legend of Saint Joseph. Notice the long stem. In apocryphal writings we find the story of the Jewish priests announcing that they are looking for an upright man of the tribe of Judah to be the spouse of Mary. Joseph went up with the other men and they prayed to find out who was the one chosen by God to espouse the Virgin. When they went to retrieve their staffs, Saint Joseph’s had miraculously blossomed marking him as the one chosen by God to be Mary’s husband and the foster father of Jesus.

Now, the doves can have a number of meanings. But let us place them in greater context. The crown above could refer to the Queenship of Mary and in the description mentioned last week that would work nicely. But if we acccept that the long stemmed lily is actually Saint Joseph’s staff then the crown should also be connected with him. It is through Joseph that Jesus is incorporated into the house of Judah and in the line of the great King David. The crown would denote the royal family into which Jesus was born.

This brings us finally to the two doves. At times in pictures of Saint Joseph a dove perches on top of his flowering staff to further symbolize his election by God to be the spouse of Mary. However there are two doves here so that does not hold. Other depictions of the Saint show him to be holding two doves to be taken to the temple at the presentation and I suggest that this is meaning of these two doves.

So I put forward that this window is actually about Joseph; chosen by God to be the spouse of Mary, who was of the line of King David, and who presented the doves in the temple legally marking him as the father of Jesus.

The question then is why is this at the shrine of Saint Anne? Perhaps it is because these are all persons important to Mary. There is of course Saint Anne her mother. Saint Joseph would be in the window to the left, and not pictured is the window to her right which has the angel Gabriel as well as a symbol of Jesus her Son.

Think you this is a solid case or do you prefer last week’s description?


Adoro said...

It works for me! :-)

Cracked Pot said...

Well...maybe. If you stake your claim based upon the lily having the look of a sprouted staff, and the two doves (St. Joseph's offering as Jesus' father), the the crown would logically have to be a reference to King David. St. Joseph, St. Ann and Jesus are truly the most important people to Mary...but what about poor Joachim?