This story about the stained glass windows at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Bay Village is compiled from a parish newsletter entitled ‘Dream Forward.”
Introduction Stained Glass Stories, St Raphael Church, Bay Village, Ohio, Nelson J Callahan, Pastor: These windows are from the former St Joseph Franciscan Church (located at E. 23rd and Woodland in Cleveland), which was originally dedicated in 1873. Crafted in Munich, Germany, and installed in 1902, the stained glass windows were removed by the Diocese when the parish was closed in the late 1980’s. They were restored and installed at St Raphael Church in 1994 as part of a program of renovation. Bishop Anthony M. Pilla celebrated a Mass of Solemn Blessing on September 29, the Feast of St Raphael. Through the five scripture stories and the examples of the saints, we can further our knowledge and love of the message and person of Jesus. These beautiful windows can help us to contemplate and grow in our faith as they must have inspired the faith of the St Joseph parishioners so many years ago. Windows to be located on the south elevation of the nave (facing the school): The Child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Mary and Joseph discover Jesus in the midst of the teachers who are clearly astounded at His understanding and His answers. The scrolls and ancient texts are set aside. Jesus, the Word, is present to do the will of His Father. Mary, His Mother, “kept all these things to be pondered in her heart.” Mary is a model of constant meditation on the meaning of the life of Jesus. [Page 8, Figure 1]
Jesus and the Children (Mark 10:13-16) “And people were bringing children to Him that He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He became indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of God.’ Then He embraced them and blessed them.” [Page 8, Figure 2] Windows to be located on the north elevation of the nave (facing the driveway): Birth of Christ with Magi (Matthew 2:1-12) “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly…” The story of the Magi is a reflection on an important aspect of the Incarnation-the universality of the birth of Jesus. The Messiah has come to all people, of all cultures and races, for all the ages. [Page 9, Figure 3] Agony in the Garden of Olives (Matthew 26:36; Mark 14:32; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1) In a composite of Gospel stories, we see Jesus sorrowing even unto death. The apostles, Peter (with sword), James, and John sleep in response to His request to “watch and pray with me”, and the angel comes from heaven to give Him strength to accept the cup presented to Him. [Page 9, Figure 4]
Rose window on the front façade, the four Evangelists (facing Dover Center Road): St Mark (Feast Day: April 25) Known for his symbol, the winged lion of the desert, Mark’s Gospel begins in the desert with the story of John the Baptist. His Gospel refers to Jesus in His kingly dignity. St Matthew (Feast Day: September 21) Matthew is identified with a winged man since he stressed the humanity of Jesus and the historical importance of the life of Christ. St Luke (Feast Day October 18) Symbolized by the figure of an ox, representing the oxen used as sacrifice in the Temple, Luke stresses the sacrificial character of Jesus. St John (Feast Day: December 27) Represented by the eagle, one who flies to heights, not only is John’s Gospel more poetic and complex, but it stresses the divinity of Jesus. [Page 12, Figure 9]
Windows to be located in the Franciscan Chapel: St Francis of Assisi & the Vision of Portiuncula (1181-1226) Feast Day: October 4; Feast Day of Portiuncula: August 2. Francis received this vision in the Portiuncula Chapel located near Assisi, Italy. The heavenly choir of angels surrounds Jesus and Mary as Jesus stretches his hand in blessing while holding the cross of Christ. [Page 10, Figure 5] St Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata (1181-1226) Feast Day: October 4; Feast of the Stigmata: September 17. On the Feast of the Holy Cross (September14), Francis was meditating on the Gospel story of Christ’s passion. There appear to him a seraph (angel) clearly showing the face of Christ. Francis felt keen stabs of pain in his hands and feet. When the vision passed, on his body there appeared the wonderful impressions of the wounds of Christ. [Page 11, Figure 7] St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Feast Day: June 13. Born in Portugal, Anthony eventually went to Padua, Italy, where God wanted him to become a preacher of the Word. The window is his vision of Mary presenting the Child Jesus, to whom he had a great devotion. [Page 10, Figure 6]
Windows to be located in the sacristy: St Clare (1193-1253) Feast Day: August 11. Clare, a friend of Francis, was moved by his choice to give up all his wealth and spend his days living out the Gospel in poverty. Clare began a religious order of women that is known as the Poor Clares. She had a special love for the Eucharist and is often pictured holding the Monstrance, with which she warded off an advancing army of Saracens. [Page 11, Figure 7] St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) Feast Day: November 19. The daughter of a king of Hungary, she was a devoted wife and mother. She is pictured here with her cape overflowing with red roses. According to legend, roses appeared instead of the bread she carried in her cape for the poor when she was challenged by her hostile relatives opposed to her charitable effort. Her life is an example of the Gospel call to be loving, caring, and forgiving to family and to others. [Page 11, Figure 7] St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Feast Day: July 15. Bonaventure entered the Franciscans and be-came one of the church’s most outstanding teachers. A Doctor of the Church, he was named Cardinal shortly before his death. St Louis, King of France (1214-1274) Feast Day: August 25. Louis became king at age twelve. He was a just leader and a wise and gentle father. Advice he gave to a son indicated the kind of Christian leader he was: “Let your heart be gentle, compassionate, and charitable toward the poor…toward every-one you think is suffering…” He retrieved the crown of thorns from the Holy Land during the Crusades.
St. Joseph’s Church—The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History St. Joseph’s Church, a landmark church that stood for over a century on Woodland at E. 23rd St., began as St. Bernard’s parish. A frame church for this German parish, at Woodland and E. 23rd streets, was begun in 1862 and dedicated to St. Joseph. In 1868, the Franciscan Fathers took charge of the parish and in 1868-70 a friary and chapel was built on E, 23rd St. In 1871 the frame church was demolished and the cornerstone of a brick structure was laid. Architects of the church were Cudell and Richardson. The church was dedicated on October 5, 1873 by Bishop Gilmour, though the steeple was not completed until 1899. A new friary was built in 1893, and the old one became a school and parish hall. The church was noted for the German influence on its Gothic architecture as well as the elaborate interior; it was once called the “Cathedral of the East Side.” Interior features included intricate wood carvings and impressive stained glass windows. St. Joseph’s was one of the first churches in the diocese built to serve a European ethnic group in its native language. Several other ethnic groups later met in St. Joseph’s including Poles, Slovaks, Czechs, Italians, and African Americans. By the 1970s, the congregation had dwindled due to an exodus of neighborhood residents, spurred on by the construction of nearby inter-states and the effects of urban renewal. The church was closed in September 1986 and deconsecrated. While plans for the future of the structure were being discussed, the church sustained a destructive fire in February 1993 and was demolished. Items from the church were reused in other churches in the diocese. (Picture: St. Joseph’s Church, ca. 1973. Cleveland Press Collection, CSU Archives) Note: All the stained glass windows at St. Raphael came from St. Joseph Church.
Windows to be located in the quieting (brides) room: These small windows include the Coat of Arms of Franciscans and of their Sacred Heart Province and the Crest of Cleveland Bishop Ignatius F Horstman. Window to be located behind the Baptistery: Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-11) “The angel of the Lord spoke: There is no need for you to be afraid…He has risen…go quickly and tell his disciples…” While the guards tremble with fear and become like dead men, the angel proclaims that Jesus is victorious over the grave. [Page 12, Figure 8] Remaining windows: The remaining rosette windows relate to the Passion of Jesus. Those seen at the top of the choir loft window include the Crown of Thorns and Three Nails, Veronica’s Veil, and the Tools of Crucifixion. These will be located in the chapel. Others are the Lantern and the Rooster and these will be located in the Nave. The small, lower window panels are symbols frequently used in church decoration. They include the several titles attributed to Mary in the Litany of Loretto: Tower of David, Gate of Heaven, Mirror of Justice, Singular Vessel of Devotion, and Mary, Queen of All Saints. Others reference Jesus:, the first three Greek letters of the name of Jesus; the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, Alpha and Omega, meaning Jesus, the beginning and the end; and the Chi-Rho, the first two letters of the Greek “Christos”. Remaining panels represent a Church or Cathedral and a Lily. These lower panels will be located throughout the church in smaller panel openings.