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The Vestibule Windows

St. Patrick Transom Window
Shamrock Transom Windows

In the transom, above the central door leading to the church from the vestibule, we see a magnificent stained glass representation of St. Patrick, patron of the pro-cathedral. St. Patrick is shown holding a shamrock. According to tradition, he used the three-leafed shamrock as a device to explain the mystery of the Trinity as he preached to the Irish.

This window, and its two companions over the doors to the left and right, has a background of “glue-chip” glass. The hands and face are “double-paned,” producing a three-dimensional effect. Two leading techniques were utilized in the fabrication of this window: “copper foiling,” which combines lead and copper foil, and “lead came,” the traditional “H” shaped lead that holds the pieces of glass together. The use of double-paning and both leading techniques is unusual and indicates a high quality of workmanship. This window and its companions were probably made in the period from 1870 to 1890. We do not know in what studio these windows were made.

The glass over the two smaller doors is of the same style and depicts bouquets of shamrocks, symbol of St. Patrick and of Ireland.

Vestibule Windows

The two side doors of the vestibule leading outside are enhanced with glass above them each depicting a cross and other decorations.

The designs in the lancet windows in the front wall of the vestibule contain various symbols of Christ and the Blessed Virgin.

As you face the wall they are from left to right:

Oil Lamp

The lamp is a symbol of wisdom and may refer to Mary as the “Seat of Wisdom,” one of her titles.

The Letters “X” and “P”, intertwined

“X” is the Greek letter corresponding to “CH” and “P” is the Greek letter corresponding to “R”. “X” and “P” therefore are the first two letters in Greek for Christ. “X” and “P” were used in early Christian art as a symbol of Christ.

Red Rose and Star

Among the Blessed Virgin’s titles are “Mystical Rose” and “Star of the Sea.” This window combines these two titles.

Fleur-de-lis or Lily

The lily is the symbol of purity, often used as a symbol of the Blessed Virgin. It was selected by the kings of France as their emblem and was used on the banner of St. Joan of Arc.

The Letters “Alpha” and “Omega”

The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, they symbolize Christ as the beginning and the end of time.

At the base of these particular windows is the name of the stained glass maker of the vestibule windows, “Luther Studios,” of Paterson, New Jersey.


These are Greek letters, the first three Greek letters of the name “Jesus.” “I” corresponds to “J”, “H” to “E”, and “S” to “S”.

Cross and Crown

The crown signifies the kingship of Christ and the triumph of Christ over death on the cross. They symbolize the reward of the faithful in the life after death given to those who believe in the crucified savior.

Above the main entry doors and in the choir loft there are windows of similar design, probably from the same glass studio.

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