In the back of our church narthex, the life of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton has been depicted in four separate panes of a beautiful stained glass window. The history behind the artwork is described herein.
- Marriage – Motherhood
Wife with husband and mother with children.
- Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Commitment to God
Love of God shown by extending a hand to help youth. The Jerusalem Cross depicts Christianity to the four ends of the earth. The grape vines and wheat, in its natural setting, depicts the Body and Blood of Jesus.
- Founding of the Sisters of Charity and the Parochial School System
The school building in the background is her first school on Paca Street in Baltimore. Her love for children is depicted with the children at play.
- Sainthood – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Holding the Shield Showing Three Crescents (Family Crest)
The motto of her family crest is written – Hazard Yet Forward. The U.S. flag is in the background and the date of her canonization on September 14, 1975 as the first American saint.
The center of the window depicts the Sacrament of Initiation (Baptism). In the center, we have an oval shape, depicting the womb. Within the womb is a person, newborn or any individual, who is in darkness, void of God’s own life and love until this person is baptized and enters into the Christian Community. A person is spiritually void until then.
The three types of Baptism are symbolically shown coming out of the darkness through the sacrament. Reflecting the Book of Genesis, The Story of Creation – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was waste and void, darkness covered the abysm and the Spirit of God was stirring above the waters.
The Holy Spirit is depicted by various radiating colors symbolizing the Holy Trinity. Within the scene is a conch shell, which is a sea shell, a cross and fish – sign code of early Christians.
Detail of Jerusalem Cross, wheat and grapes depicted within stained
glass window at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.