Friday, April 20, 2012


Today's sacred vessel is the Fr. Joseph Medin chalice.  Fr. Medin was a man of Slovenian descent that served at Sacred Heart Parish in Barberton, Ohio.  It was a nationality parish that served the immigrants that moved to the "Magic City" looking for work in the early 20th century.

My mother was young when Fr. Medin served at my home parish.  Apparently he came from some sort of aristocratic family in Europe.  He served in Barberton during the depression and was very helpful to struggling parishioners.  Mom tells the story of the huge car he used to drive and that he would go about the neighborhood picking up all the kids and bringing them to the church for the catechism classes.  Apparently he also helped many people who were experiencing difficulties out of his own resources.

He was very well loved and remembered.  Apparently he enjoyed his stay in the Magic City and had this chalice made and gifted to the parish as a parting gift.  (A rather unusual occurrence and pays tribute to his generosity.) 

Unfortunately the parish no longer exists.  It was suppressed and merged with St. Mary Polish Parish, given boundaries and is now named Prince of Peace Parish.  The new entity seems to be thriving.  As a matter of fact they just completed and expansion of the church.  The chalice was replated and given into my care at my ordination to carry on the memory of the Slovenian people that once made up Sacred Heart.

Here is a picture of the chalice.  Thanks to Mr. Mike Palko (and the person who recommended him) for the higher quality photos.  There's a lot going on and it is still difficult to see but I'll try to walk you through it.

Set in the golden cup is a silver band with enamel inlay lettering and design.  In Latin in says "Accipiam calicem salutaris" or "I will take the chalice of salvation" from Psalm 116 "I will take up the chalice of salvation and call on the name of the Lord."  The points above the silver band are grape leaves and the there is a grape and grape leaf design toward the bottom of the cup.

All down the stem there is a grape leaf design.  Both the main node and the minor node below are "lace work."  Some sort of red minor gem stones are set in the middle of six flowers that decorate the minor node.

The base is really the show piece of this vessel.  The base flowers out into six peddles.  Three of the peddles are a grape and grape leaf design and three are scenes from the life of Christ.  I am told that what makes this chalice so special is that these scenes would have been tapped out by hand by an artist unlike modern chalices that would most likely have a machine stamp them out.  The scene pictured below is what would face the celebrant during the Mass.  It is of the crucifixion of Christ.  There are four other figures in the scene; St. John, St. Mary, and the two other Marys.  It appears to be the moment when Christ was entrusting His Mother to St. John

This is a scene of the Annunciation.  St. Mary kneeling in prayer has her head turned over shoulder as if taken by surprise by the angel who, holding lilies in one hand and extended a blessing with the other, is presenting her with the possibility of becoming the Mother of God.  The Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, sends His rays down upon her.

The final scene (not pictured) is of the Ascension.  Six disciples look on as Jesus ascends into the heavens.

This is the bottom of the patten (a little worse for wear.)  It has been dropped by servers and sacristans (not at St. Sebastian!) that the last time it was repaired they smith said that it was probably the last time that it could be repaired.  The ornate scene at the center is of the Last Supper.  The engraved lettering which is becoming almost unreadable states, "Presented to the people of Sacred Heart Church of Barberton, Ohio - by Father Joseph Medin in appreciation of his pastorate - January 1931 to July 1940 - GOD BLESS YOU ALL"  The bottom of the chalice has a very crude scratching in it that states, "Joseph Medin 1924"
The people of St. Sebastian Parish will see this chalice in use for weddings and on other celebratory days on which the St. Sebastian chalice is not in use.  It will be my Sunday chalice of use for the rest of the Easter season.

For more information on this chalice go here.


Anonymous said...

absolutely beautiful. You know father, we can't see them when used at the altar. Wish there was some way we could see them more often so they can be appreciated

Fr. V said...

There was almost the chance this year. As you probably know each year we have some sort of "show" for our feast day. This year it was going to be the chalices and other vessels but the new paintings of St. Sebastian came in and that took first place.

Maybe next year . . .

Manoj - Outsource Survey Processing said...

I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the great work!

Trevor said...

I love the history and the detail you put into the blog. Thank you!

bhashkar_Quantity-Takeoff said...

There was almost the chance this year. As you probably know each year we have some sort of "show" for our feast day. This year it was going to be the chalices and other vessels but the new paintings of St. Sebastian came in and that took first place.

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