The windows of St. Patrick’s have always been admired not only because of their great beauty but also because of the stories they tell. Most of the windows were crafted by the firm of Franz Mayer & Co., in Munich, Germany. This company, which is also designated at the Pontifical Institute of Christian Art was founded in 1848. Over time, the sets of windows that grace our church were installed, first in 1873, others in 1911, and the last in 1929.
These stained glass windows were created to give glory and honor to God. The parishioners who scrimped and saved to bring these works of art to our church are to be remembered for their contribution. The magnificence of suffused color enhances our spiritual contemplation and worship. Those who attend St. Patrick’s Church are fortunate to have such beauty to surround them as they come together to pray and celebrate their Faith.
The four oldest windows depicting St. Dominic, St. Patrick, St. Peter, and St. Paul are not placed where they would be readily noticed. St. Dominic with the rosary is above the east portal and St. Patrick is above the west portal. Ss. Peter and Paul are high in the sanctuary on the right and left.These four windows date back to 1973 and are considered among the oldest in Broome County.
High Altar Window
Beginning with the large window over the high altar we can see twenty-seven detailed figures. This three-light window was installed in 19129 during the pastorate of the Rev. Ambrose Dwyer. The title, Christ in Glory, depicts Christ, seated on a rainbow, enjoying the communion of saints. With Christ are the Blessed Mother on His left and St. Joseph on His right. Behind Mary is St. Bridget and behind Joseph is St. Patrick, both of whom are the patron saints of Ireland. It is interesting to note that there are shamrocks in Patrick’s crosier. Three small angels are hovering at the feet of Christ.
The lower third of this window shows various saints, evangelists, and fathers of the Church. Included in this retinue are St. Peter on the far left holding his key, St. Paul on the far right holding his sword, and St. Ambrose next to an elaborate beehive.
The upper third of the window has as its focal point the six-pointed Star of David. This is in recognition of our Judeo-Christian heritage. The dove inside this star may encourage and and promote peace among all people on earth.
Low Altar Windows
The rose windows above the altars of St. Mary & St. Joseph were installed in 1929. Rose windows are hallmarks of St. Patrick’s Gothic architecture and are found in the great cathedrals of Europe, like Notre Dame and Milan. These perfect jewel-like windows are imbued with the deepest and richest of tones to reflect a kaleidoscope of colors unmatched anywhere.
The ten large windows we see that flank the nave of our church were installed between 1911 and 1914, during the pastorate of Monsignor John McLoghlin. These windows alternate between the life of Christ and the life of Patrick, our patron saint. Two windows are now out of view; in the new confessionals one can see The Prodigal Son and Jesus in the Temple.
East Side Nave Windows
The first window, nearest St. Mary’s Altar, is The Annunciation. Here the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary who is kneeling at her prie dieu, woman of vision and understanding, model of trust, says “yes” to God.
The second window, Patrick’s Dream, shows our patron as a young man hearing in a dream the call of the Irish people to be their apostle. As a boy he has been kidnapped from his home on the Western shore of Britain and sold as a slave in Ireland. There God called on the foreign swineherd and provided a miraculous escape so he could later return to save the people who enslaved him. After a dangerous trip back to his home, Patrick prepared to answer God’s call by studying for the priesthood.
Scene three, The Nativity, shows the Birth of Christ. This window features an elaborate stable and two triangular compositions; in the one light, three shepherds with their sheep and in the other light, the Holy Family: Joseph, Mary, and the Christ Child.
In the next window we see Patrick’s Arrival in Ireland. Here the saint is arriving by boat with a large retinue to embark on his evangelical pilgrimage. His life was fraught with danger as he crisscrossed Ireland during the middle of the fifth century. It is interesting to note the presence of the round tower in the scene.
The last large window on the east side of the nave is The Presentation. Here, according to the Law of Moses, Mary & Joseph brought Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. The scene shows His Mother kneeling while Joseph is offering a sacrifice of two young pigeons at the temple.
West Nave Windows
The first window, nearest St. Joseph’s Altar, depicts the Death of St. Patrick, in which our patron is surrounded by angels who have come to escort him home.
The figure of Christ dominates the next window in The Ascension. Here the ascended Christ is shown with eleven apostles at his feet.
In the third window, Patrick Baptizes an Irish King. Through Patrick’s efforts many Irish kings became Christians, inspiring their subjects to follow in the Faith. Many churches were founded by the saint and over 12,000 people were baptized by him.
The story of The Resurrection is told in the fourth window. Here Christ, resplendent in a white robe, has arisen with a glorious angel at his side. The soldiers flanking the sides of His tomb are depicted as being half-asleep and unaware of the miracle in their midst.
The final window on the west side of the nave shows Patrick Preaching at the Royal Court. Here, our patron uses the shamrock to illustrate the mystery of the Trinity to the high king Laegaire (Leary) at the royal court of Tara. The intensity of the green in Patrick’s shamrock, the shamrocks in his crosier, and the round tower are notable.
These windows soar above the nave windows and through each two-light window streams illumination into the clerestory. In each light, a different saint is depicted. The saints were chosen from among the Apostles and the Doctors of the Church. From the east side beginning at the sanctuary to the vestibule are: St. Simon, St. Bartholomew, St. James Minor, St. John, St. Andrew, St. Peter, St. Athanasium, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, and St. Jerome. On the west side, from the vestibule to the sanctuary are: St. Thaddeus, St. Matthew, St. Gregory, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory Nazianzen. St. Basil, St. James Major, St. Paul, St. Phillip, and St. Thomas.