Stained Glass Windows in the Church

The stained glass windows in the church depict events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. All of them are found in Scripture, except the last two (death and crowning). In the original scheme of the church, the tapestry of the Assumption was in the center behind the altar, forming a triptych from left to right -- Death, Assumption, Crowning. All three of these scenes come from ancient tradition rather than Scripture.

The older windows were crafted in the early 1950's by the Barillet Studios of Paris, and they are the ones closest to the front of the church (sanctuary and transepts, except #10). The windows toward the rear of the church (#10 in the north transept and the nave) were by the Piczek Studios of Los Angeles, and probably date from a bit later, perhaps the 1960's.

Although the work of two different artists working at different times is evident, the sequence of the pictures follows a chronological plan moving counterclockwise around the church from the tabernacle to the baptismal font. At first glance, they may all seem similar. But a more careful study of the images reveals striking differences in style. In the Barillet windows, deliberately distorted features boldly engage the eye in a swirl of activity. Sharp, contrasting forms and colors impel the eye to move about every segment of the image, drawing the viewer into the movement and dynamism of the event. Piczek, by contrast, uses long, flowing lines to evoke an earthy simplicity and at the same time a sense of movement toward transcendence.
  1. Ave Maria Gracia Plena  “Hail Mary, full of grace” The words of the prayer based on Luke 1:28 BARILLET
  2. Magnificat Anima Mea Dominum “My soul magnifies the Lord” Luke 1:45 BARILLET
  3. Natus Est Jesus De Maria Virgine Jesus is born of the Virgin Mary, based on the Apostles Creed BARILLET
  4. Et (Vocatum Est) Nomen Eius Jesus “And his name will be called Jesus” Luke 1:31 PICZEK
  5. Et Tuam Ipsius Anim (Pertransiet Gladius) “And you yourself a sword will pierce…” Luke 2:35 PICZEK
  6. Rex Regum King of Kings PICZEK
  7. Ex Aegypto Vocavi Filium(Meum) “Out of Egypt I have called my son” Hosea 11:1 quoted in Matthew 2:15 PICZEK
  8. Invenerunt Eum In Templo “They found him in the temple” Matthew 46 PICZEK
  9. Ora Pro Nobis In Hora Mortis Nostram “Pray for us in the hour of our death” based on the words of the prayer known as the Hail Mary. PICZEK
  10. Vinum No Habent They have no (more) wine John 2:30 PICZEK
  11. Stabat Mater Dolorosa Name of one of the greatest Latin hymns of all time (13th C.) based on the prophecy of Simeon in Luke 2:35 “And you yourself a sword will pierce” BARILLET
  12. Replesunt  Omnes  Spiritu Sancto “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit” Acts 2:4 BARILLET
  13. In Manus Dei Sancta Tradid(erunt) Anima “Into the hand of God she gave her holy soul” BARILLET
  14. Ave Regina Hail Queen BARILLET