Above the Baptismal font are two windows. Together they depict the nine choirs of angels protecting the souls of the newly baptized. Within the waters at the bottom of the windows are jewels, which are akin to the stars in the sky. The golden rays connect the water to heaven.
“Purify your hearts that they may appear to Him like bright stars at the bottom of a fountain.”
“If we beheld a soul after Baptism with eyes of faith, we would see angels taking their watch around it.”
The round confirmation window portrays the Holy Spirit as an ascending dove, lifting and leading us to the Father. In usual text the dove is descending or coming to rest upon someone.
The strategic placement of the window is symbolically in the shadow of the cross – the cross which hangs on the raredos behind the altar in front of this windo, thereby shadowing it.
The Holy Spirit is moving through eternity. The perimeter of the window has thorns. The thorns represent the troubles that are present in our lives.
“The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity.” (This is used as a reference to some other writings entitled The High and Lofty One who Inhabits Eternity.)
“May we never leave the sheltering wing; but dwelling now in the shadow of the cross we will cheerfully gather the thorns which will hereafter be turned into a joyful crown.”
“May his protecting wing be over you through all the storms.”
The thorns are a common theme in all of the windows.
“By the light of thy celestial glories all of our darkness, pains, and sorrows will be forever dispersed; these clouds and sorrows will be forever dispersed; these clouds and griefs which now oppress and weigh down the souls of Thy poor erring creatures will be gone and remembered no more; these thorns which now obstruct our path, these shades which obscure the light of Thy heavenly truth, all shall give way to thy cheering presence, to the eternal, unchanging joys which Thou hast in store for the souls of Thy faithful servants.”
The first two window segments left of the altar represent the conversion of Elizabeth Seton to Catholicism. The blue and gray colors reflect the sadness and despair of Elizabeth’s life during her time of conversion. The candle’s rays of light (light of knowledge) reach back into that sad time (ignorance) and also shine into the future.
The boot of Italy is to the left of the candle in yellow and the dome of St. Peter’s is above Italy.
Elizabeth Seton became a fisher of souls. This is illustrated by the three fish and a fish net. The thorns begin in this front-most window and proceed through the windows toward the back of the church (on both sides). The thorns obstruct the flowing lines that represent the journey of Mother Seton as her life changed, not just through her conversion but also her widowhood, becoming a single mother, and the loss of her children at young ages.
“The awakening to another life dawning of eternity”
Reconciliation Window / Ongoing Conversion
In the third segment of windows St. Peter’s keys represent penance, forgiveness. The symbolism of the keys refers to God telling Peter whatever he binds on earth will be bound in heaven.
The rosary represents the mysteries of the faith and teachings Elizabeth learned to become a Catholic.
The old style papal crown represents the Catholic Church as well as Elizabeth’s trip to Italy awaking her to Catholicism.
“My becoming a Catholic was a very simple consequence of going to a Catholic country, where it was impossible for any one interested in any religion not see the wide difference between the first established Faith given by our Lord and spread by His Apostles, and the various forms it has since taken in other countries. As I had always delighted in reading the Scriptures, I had so deep an impression of the mysteries of Divine revelation, that though full of the sweet thought that every good and well meaning soul was right, I determined when I came home to learn both in duty to my children and my own soul, all I was capable of understanding on the subject.”
“Penance is the purifier of the soul.”
“Penance, what consolations does it not give to a poor soul seeking relief.”
Peace is My Gift to You Window
There are two dancers under a rainbow in this window. The rainbow is a sign of hope. The olive branch is a symbol of peace. We want to have peace with God. We strive to become a more peaceful, prayerful people.
“Human passions/weaknesses, never extinct, cannot triumph in a heart possessed by peace.”
Dying and Rising Windows
This window shows the end of the thorny vine made into a crown of thorns. It represents our human death. The sun and the Easter Lily represent our new life with God. In death we join the Church Triumphant, i.e., the Saints in glory.
“Gather the thorns that will hereafter become a joyful crown.”
Starting at the front window on the opposite wall are the Matrimony Windows. Two vines begin this window and become one vine after passing through Elizabeth and William’s wedding bands (wed in 1794). The lilies represent Elizabeth’s five children, Anna Maria, William, Richard, Catherine, and Rebecca. The extinguished candle in the second segment represent the early death of her husband (1803) and the two dead flowers represent the death of two of her children at young ages, Anna Maria (1812) and Rebecca (1816).
This window segment shows the wheat and grapes that will become the Body and Blood of Christ. The heart, made of crystal, is filling with the purest liquid, the blood of Christ.
“The heart preparing to receive the Holy Eucharist should be like a crystal vase.”
This window depicts Elizabeth Seton’s vocation of religious life. The grayish-blue colors represent her arms outstretched to the world. Her heart is embracing the cross of Christ, symbolizing her obedience to God’s will. The small red orbs along the vine represent Mother Seton’s daughters from the Sisters of Charity going out to do the work of the Gospel.
“But it is expected I shall be the mother of many daughters.”
Re: The founding of the Sisters of Charity
In this window the thorny vines end and gold circular shapesrepresent the death of souls as they seem to be moving into eternity within the Communion of Saints mural.
“Souls destined to partake of His eternal inheritance fill yourself with His spirit.”
“Then with the wings of a Dove (Holy Spirit) will my soul fly and be at rest.”