The Conversion of St. Paul

Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee, active in the persecution of the early Christians. Having proven his zeal in the Jerusalem persecutions, he was commissioned by the high priest to expand the persecution to Damascus.

On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank. There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias... So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit.” Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized... and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God...

Acts of the Apostles 9:3-10a, 17-18, 20

Saul, being a Roman citizen, also had the Roman name Paul, which he began to use more commonly during his missionary efforts.

St. Peter Receiving his Mandate

Matthew 16:18a, 19a

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church... I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven..."


John 21:15b-17

... Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter... said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep.

St. Rita of Cascia

Born in 1381, Rita had desired to enter an Augustinian convent, but her parents instead married her off to a local nobleman, eventually bearing two sons. Some years later, her husband was murdered by a rival during one of the many internecine conflicts of the Italian nobility in that era; a year later, both her sons died from disease, an answer, it is thought, to their mother's prayer that they be prevented from imperiling their souls by making good on their plans to murder their father's rival.

Now a widow and childless, Rita was able to join the Augustinian convent. In 1442, on Good Friday, while in prayer before an image of Christ Crucified, she received a partial stigmata, a wound on her forehead from one of the thorns of the Crown of Thorns.

Shortly before she died, Rita requested that a visitor bring her a rose from the garden near where her husband and sons were buried, although it was the middle of winter. Much to the surprise of all, a fully bloomed rose was found in the garden, despite the extreme cold. Rita herself took it as a symbol that her lifetime of prayer, including over 40 years of in the convent, had aided in the ultimate redemption of her loved ones. St. Rita died in 1457, and was canonized in 1900. Her body, which has remained incorrupt, can still be viewed at the Basilica in Cascia.

The Baptism of Clovis I by St. Remigius

It is probable that this window is a depiction of a significant, if perhaps little-known, moment in the history of Catholicism and Western Europe. Clovis I was the first king of the united Frankish tribes, developing a kingdom that covered most of modern France and Germany, geographically prefiguring a large portion of the Holy Roman Empire. Born a pagan, Clovis converted to Catholicism under the influence of his wife, Clotilde, and was baptized by St. Remigius, Bishop of Reims. The notable aspect of this is that many of the rulers of the Frankish and Germanic tribes had been actively converting to Arianism, a heresy that denied the divinity of Jesus. Clovis' conversion to Catholicism gave the Church a position of strength in Western Europe as it continued its evangelization efforts.

A number of factors suggest that this is a depiction of the baptism of Clovis: the king in the window is already wearing his crown, suggesting that it is not a coronation scene; the bishop appears to be pouring water from a shell over the head of the king, such as is found in the Rite of Baptism; it is a bishop interacting with the king, rather than another Church representative; and only the bishop, not the king, has a halo, indicating that only the one has been canonized (St. Remigius has been canonized; Clovis has not). Additionally, we must also take into consideration the Francophilic nature of several of the other windows (St. Joan of Arc, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Our Lady of Lourdes, etc.).