The windows at St. Francis Church were done by Orco Studios of San Antonio. The artist was Mrs. Ruth Dunn. The subject of the windows is the Christian Year. Mrs. Dunn, who was formerly head of the Art Department at Incarnate Word College, has designed windows seen in hundreds of churches throughout the Southwest. Our windows are done in the faceted style of glass work rather than the traditional stained glass because it was felt that this style of window would be particularly appropriate for our mission style architecture.

The following is a brief description of the windows, beginning with the Advent window at the front of the Nave on the Epistle Side. The windows go in a clockwise direction from this beginning point, ending with Pentecost in the Rose Window above the Altar. In these windows you will see a number of types of crosses repeated in the background.

ADVENT WINDOW: (purple) - Advent, the first season in the Christian calendar is represented in the first window by a Tau Cross in the center. The Tau Cross consists of three arms arranged in the shape of a “T”, signifying the first letter of the Greek word “Theos”, meaning God. Above this is the Anchor Cross, a symbol of Christian hope, taken from the Epistle to the Hebrews referring to the everlasting virtue of God’s counsel in these words, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,” and which is the oldest of all Christian symbols dating from the days of the catacombs. At the lower left is Aaron’s Rod (Numbers 17:1-8), the flowering almond which symbolizes the Virgin Mary, who contrary to biological laws brought forth a son, as also contrary to the laws of nature, Aaron’s almond staff burst into bloom when placed in the ground. In the lower right, the Fleur-de-lis, a conventionalized form of the Annunciation Lily, signifying purity – the symbol of the Virgin Mary. The overall background repeats the Tau Cross.

CHRISTMAS WINDOW: (white) - In the center is the Nativity Crib in the form of the Saltire Cross, or the St. Andrews Cross, so called because when sentenced to be crucified, Saint Andrew, deeming himself unworthy by being crucified upon the same kind of cross used for the crucifixion of our Lord, requested to be nailed upon a different cross. The tri-radiant nimbus above the crib represents one of the Trinity, rising from the Crib, the monogram of Christ – the Chi Rho (the first two letters of XPICTOC, meaning Christ). The shaft of light down through the center represents the division in history – B.C. and A.D. – with the thrust of Christianity. The Greek Cross repeated in the background is also a Sacred Monogram, combining I and X – I for IHCOVC (Jesus) X for XPICTOC (Christ). Bottom center has the Christmas Rose, a Nativity symbol. In white are two Pall Crosses symbolizing the “Yoke of Christ”, to be borne with humility.

EPIPHANY WINDOW: (green) - In the top center is the great symbol of Epiphany, the five pointed Epiphany star, or the Star of Bethlehem leading the Wise Men to Bethlehem. Below the star, the three crowns suggest the visit of the three Kings. At the bottom we see the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The background here repeats the Cross Crosslet, called the Epiphany Cross, which shows four crosses meeting at their bases denoting the manifestation of Christ to all creation.

LENT: (purple) - In this window we see the somber, stark cross draped with the seamless robe in red. The red and purple and savage greens are to suggest the tragedy and brutality. The center of the cross has three nails. Above the cross, the sun and moon are in distorted colors. The center of the robe shows the Cross and Chalice, symbolizing the Agony in Gethsemane. At the bottom is the Cross Portate, which speaks of Christ’s weary progress to Calvary. Inscribed on the cross member, the letters INRI, to denote the mockery of Christ, (“Jesus Christ, King of the Jews”). The cat-o-nine tails symbolizes the persecution and scourging, and the Basin and Ewer relate Pontius Pilate’s washing his hands of the responsibility for the crucifixion of our Lord. The background repeats the Passion Cross, also called the Cross of Suffering – pointed at all four ends.

EASTER WINDOW: (white) - In the center is the Easter Cross, or the Cross Adorned. The adornment of the lilies connotes the resurrection; they are a symbol of our Risen Lord, and immortality, as from a decayed bulb in the ground new life is released. In the background is a repeat of the Cross in Glory, also called the Rayed Cross and the Easter Cross – a Latin Cross with 12 or more rays of light. The center of the Cross has the butterfly symbol, a resurrection symbol, representing the third state of the butterfly’s life when the pupa bursts its outer shell and soars heavenward with a beautiful new body. The three stages in the life of the butterfly, the pupa, cocoon and butterfly symbolize Christian life, death and resurrection. The Crown and Cross symbolizes the reward of the faithful in life after death for those who believe in the crucified Savior. The Bursting Pomegranate, lower left, is a symbol of our Lord, who was able to burst the tomb on Easter Day.