The Stained Glass Windows at St. Jerome
In 1994 Father Jim Kavanaugh, Pastor of St. Jerome, has stained glass windows behind the altar and above the exterior doors designed and installed. The twelve windows above the exterior doors depict the 12 apostles and include Saint Peter, Saint Andrew, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Philip, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Matthew, Saint Thomas, Saint James, Saint Simon, Saint Jude and Saint Matthias. Following is a depiction of each window with a description of the meaning of the various symbols included in the stained glass.
Saint Thomas: The Doubter. After Jesus appeared to the other Apostles, Thomas said that he would not believe them unless he could put his fingers into Jesus' wounds. the pierced hands depict the Lord appearing to Thomas and having Thomas put his fingers into the wounds.
Saint Jude is symbolized by the portrait of Jesus. Jude was a relative of Jesus and is said to have defended the truth about Jesus being a real body as opposed to being simply a spirit who took on the appearance of a man. Jude is said to have painted a portrait of Jesus to show that Jesus was a real man and the portrait was a vehicle for miracles. Because of the miraculous nature of the portrait Jude is said to be the saint of "impossible causes".
Saint Bartholomew is shown by the cross and flaying knife. He was a great preacher and taught the Good News of Jesus' death on the cross saving us and giving us eternal life. He was martyred by being skinned alive by unbelievers.
Saint Philip's symbol is the basket with fish. The basket and fish are used to remind us of his being asked by Jesus how they could feed so many people at the feeding of the five thousand found in John 6.
Saint John has as his symbol the eagle traditionally used to depict the soaring quality of his writings consisting of the Gospel of John, three epistles and the Book of Revelations. The eagle is also one of the "Beasts of the Apocalypse" that Saint John writes about in chapter 4 of the Book of Revelations.
Saint Simon is depicted by the fish on the book. The fish is a sign of the recognition of Jesus as lord. The book is the Bible or Gospel. Together these symbols tell us that Simon was a great missionary.
Saint Matthew is symbolized by the ink pot and quill along with spilled money. He was called from being a tax collector to follow Jesus. The spilled money indicates the speed with which he followed. The ink pot and quill show that he was the writer of a Gospel.
Saint James Alphaeus was the first bishop of Jerusalem and a renowned teacher and preacher of the Gospel. The mill was used for refining flour and the blades of the windmill driven by the wind. James was the windmill and the power that drove him was the wind of the Holy Spirit.
Saint Matthias is the Apostle who depicts the continuity of the church because he was chosen by lot to take the place of Judas Iscariot and not chosen directly by Jesus before His Ascension. Matthias was a great preacher on the kingliness of Jesus, hence the crowned lion is his symbol. The lion holds a pilgrim's staff topped by a cross to show Matthias as a missionary of the Word.
Saint Andrew: The blue field and cross saltaire make up the symbol most used for Andrew. He was crucified on the cross saltire or "X" cross. The blue stands for heavenly strength.