Holy Cross

Catholic Parish

Mesa Arizona

Stained Glass Window Art

The first Stained glass window that went up in the Sanctuary was the round window that depicts God, the Father and the Holy Spirit looking down lovingly at Jesus, the Son, crucified.

The 11 apostles that continued to be faithful followers of Jesus look toward the Trinity, while Judas, the betrayer, looks away. They gaze upon the mystery of the Trinity as displayed in the Sanctuary, as do we when we fully participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

Most of the apostles willingly gave their lives proclaiming Jesus. The way they were killed for the faith is depicted at the bottom of their respective stained glass window.

The inspiration for the Stained glass windows of the 12 apostles came from St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome. There are twelve colossal statues lining the nave of the Basilica that were created at the behest of Pope Clement XI between 1704 and 1718.

St. Thomas

St. Thomas was killed with a spear during prayer on the “Big Hill” near Madras, India. 

St. Andrew

St. Andrew was sentenced to death by crucifixion by the Romans in Greece, but asked to be crucified on a diagonal cross as he felt he wasn’t worthy to die on the same shape of cross as Jesus.

St. Bartholomew

St. Bartholomew’s manner of death, was said to have occurred at Albanopolis in Armenia, is  uncertain; according to some, he was beheaded, according to others, flayed.

St. James the Lesser

St. James the Lesser holds a club because he was beaten to death at the foot of the Temple at Jerusalem by a fuller armed with his stick.

St. James the Greater

St. James the Greater, while keeping the sword of martyrdom, has in the other hand a staff like those used by pilgrims to Santiago.

St. John

St. John, the youngest Apostle, was the only one not martyred. He died as an old man sometime after AD 98, the only apostle to die peacefully.

St. Matthew

St. Matthew was martyred in the year 65 in Ethiopia while offering Mass. According to legend, Matthew was “stabbed in the back by a swordsman [in Ethiopia] sent by King Hertacus, after he criticized the king’s morals.”

St. Peter

St. Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. 

St. Philip

St. Philip preached the Faith in Greece and he was martyred at Hierapolis in Persia in the year 62. Like Saint Peter, he was crucified upside-down.

St. Simon

St. Simon has the identifying attribute of a saw because he was traditionally martyred by being sawn in half.

St. Jude Thaddaeus

St. Jude Thaddeus stood by his beliefs and ultimately paid the price for his faith. He is believed to have been martyred either in Persia or Syria sometime in 65 A.D. In religious art, he is often shown holding an axe or club which symbolizes the way he was martyred.

Judas Iscariot

Judas died shortly after the Crucifixion. Matthew says Judas hanged himself after returning the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests. He is shown turning away from Jesus.

Translate »