Chapel of Mary Stained Glass
The two stained glass windows in the Chapel were handcrafted using 12th- century techniques and designed and assembled by master craftsmen and volunteer workers at The Cloisters, part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Creation of the windows was the idea of Dr. Jane Hayward, curator of The Cloisters and a Stonehill trustee; and John Nussbaum, vice president of design and research at Glass Masters in New York. They knew the College needed the windows and were willing to give time and skills.
The challenging task began in January, 1978. Master Craftsman Nussbaum guided a volunteer group of laymen, including a New York City patrolman, a seismologist, and a medical technician, and some of Dr. Hayward's graduate students, all of whom donated time without pay on Sunday afternoons.
Both windows were designed by Marlene Hoffman. The "Creation Window" is on the left; on the right is the "Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse Window." The sculpture between the windows is the Risen Christ, so the windows represent the beginning and the end.
Seven Days of Creation Window
(positioned to the left of the altar; reading from the top downward)
- The separation of light from darkness and the creation of the angels. (A prism is used as the symbol of light separation. The angels are shown as winged globes of light.)
- The creation of the firmament and the separation of the waters. (Clouds are formed and the waters above heaven descend as rain while those below become the watery abyss.)
- The appearance of the dry land and the creation of the plants. (The earth rises from which grow plants and the seas are divided.)
- The creation of the sun, the moon, and the planets. (The earth is shown as seen from a satellite and the surfaces of planets as photographed by space probes.)
- The creation of the animals. (Included are creatures with special biblical significance such as the ox and ass of the Nativity, the camel that carried the magi, and the dove of Noah.)
- The creation of man. (The spirit of God is depicted as a burning bush creating both Adam and Eve.)
- The seventh day. (God's rest is shown as Paradise with the Tree of Knowledge from the roots of which flow the four rivers.)
The Book of Revelation Or the Apocalypse Window
(positioned to the right of the altar; reading from the bottom upward)
- St. John, on Patmos, is commanded to write the book. (John is shown asleep as he hears the words of the spirit.)
- The vision of the seven churches of Asia and the Son of Man. (The seven churches are the seven candlesticks. The Son of Man is represented as the cross draped in the long garment and the seven stars are the seven angels of the churches.)
- The vision of the four beasts. (The four beasts appear in the sea of glass. They are the lion, the calf, the man and the eagle, symbols of the four evangelists.)
- The vision of the book with the seven seals. (The crown, the sword, the balance and the death's head are the symbols of the four horsemen who release destruction upon the earth when the book is unsealed.)
- The vision of the woman clothed with the sun and the beast with the seven heads. (The woman is the apocalyptic vision of the Virgin Mary and her son is Christ. She is the symbol of Redemption while the beast, who is Satan, casts the stars from the sky.)
- The vision of the seven plaques. (The bowls containing the wrath of God are poured out and destroy the earth. The sun burns.)
- The descent of the Kingdom of God. (The city of the heavenly Jerusalem with its foundations set with twelve jewels descends to earth.)