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Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Stained Glass Project: Saint Adolph and Assumption Mary 2

This is part of an ongoing series called The Stained Glass Project, in which I am attempting to photographically preserve the stained glass windows of my parish church, Our Lady of Czestochowa (St. Mary's) in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania.

Note: The images included in this post were taken today, using a full-sized tripod to stabilize the camera during the longish exposures. Unfortunately, I did not have the camera positioned precisely vertically, so many of the images I photographed today show a distracting tilt. I have attempted to correct this tilt by manually adjusting the images, but this has resulted in some artifacts that cause straight lines to appear broken. I will try again next week.

The sixth and final window on the South side of St. Mary's church in Nanticoke, PA depicts Saint Adolph in the left portrait and Mary's Assumption into Heaven on the right. This is the second depiction of Mary's Assumption in the windows; the first can be seen here.

There are several individuals on the Catholic roster of Saints who bear the name Adolph, or Adolphe, or Adolf, or Adolphus. The only one I could locate who was also a Bishop (as identified by the crozier he holds and the miter he wears) is Adolf (or Adolph, or Adolphus) of Osnabrück.

Unfortunately, there is precious little information available online about this individual. Curiously, the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia doesn't appear to have an entry for him. Here is his Wikipedia entry, in its entirety:

Saint Adolf of Osnabrück (also, Adolphus, Adolph, Adolf of Tecklenburg) was a monk and bishop, a member of the family of Tecklenburg counts in Westphalia. He became a canon in Cologne, Germany but then entered a Cistercian monastery where he became known for his piety. In 1216 he was appointed bishop of Osnabrück and maintained charitable programs there, dying on June 30, 1224. Adolf is known as the "Almoner of the Poor." His feast day is February 1.
I would find that feastday a bit eerily coincidental, but other sources give it as February 11, or February 13. There is no information given here, or anywhere else that I could see, as to why he appears to be holding a miniature church (which, it should be noted, is larger than the one held by Saint Hedwig.)

Here is the information I found online for this individual:

Wikipedia entry on Adolf of Osnabrück
Patron Saints Index: Saint Adolphus of Osnabruck
Catholic Online entry on St. Adolf of Osnabrück

The next figure I identify as Mary's Assumption into Heaven, in part because of the lack of any other identifier - in its place are the words "ORA PRO NOBIS" - "Pray for us," as is the case with all images of Jesus and Mary in these windows.

While the style of this depiction is familiar, I cannot place it, and it does not resemble any of the images shown here. It does, however, closely resemble La Inmaculada de Soult (1678) by Bartolomé E. Murillo.


The full Wikipedia entry, in Spanish, can be found here.* The entry on the artist, in English, can be found here. So perhaps, despite the airborne appearance, this is actually a depiction of the Immaculate Conception, not the Assumption.

The round window at the top depicts the sword-pierced Immaculate Heart of Mary. The two five-petaled flowers at the top appear to be Hibiscus, though they may be something else. I am less certain of the flower in the middle at the top, or the chain of buds wrapping the heart as they often do in such depictions.

There apparently never was any banner or text associated with this image, as is the case with most of the other round windows.

These windows were presented by the Reverend A.E. Nowicki, Rector of the Church. Adolph E. Nowicki was the first Resident Pastor of Saint Mary's, and it was under his leadership that the present structure was constructed. And perhaps now we understand the significance of the inclusion of the relatively obscure Saint Adolph, and the reason for the church held in his hand!


*Rendered into English by Google Translate Beta, the text of the Spanish article reads as follows:

Known as the Immaculate Conception of Soult is a table (=>painting) of the Spanish painter Bartolomé Murillo in the year 1678.

Author of numerous Inmaculadas in the last years of his life, Bartolomé Murillo ideal creates a formula in which the Virgin Mary dressed in white and blue, with hands crossed on (her) chest, stepped on the moon and looking to the sky, with a clear upward momentum, very baroque, which puts the figure of the Virgin Mary in the space inhabited empyrean light, clouds and angels, and is used to combine two iconographical traditions: that of the Immaculate itself and of the Assumption.

Commissioned by Justino de Neve for Venerables Hospital of Seville, was taken to France by Marshal Soult in 1813, from which his nickname.

Exposed for nearly a century in the Louvre, joined the collection of the Museo del Prado after an exchange of works of art with the French government in 1941.

2 comments:

dee said...

How nice that on Candlemas Day (or the Feast of the Purification of Mary) I'm reading about the window depicting the Immaculate Heart. Because, as I'm sure you remember, Simeon prophesied to Mary that a sword would pierce her heart. It's also the day that marks the official end of the Christmas season

I remember getting candles (gromnica) blessed on this day, and then lighting them during bad thunderstorms for protection. I also remember getting my throat blessed every Feb. 3, the feast of St Blaise. It must have worked -- I haven't choked on a fishbone yet!

whimsical brainpan said...

I think the photos look wonderful and appreciate you sharing them and their background with us.