HISTORY & DESCRIPTION OF THE STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
The beautiful stained glass windows, around which the church was designed, were entrusted to Saint Louis Parish by His Eminence, Cardinal William Keeler, to whom we are most grateful. The windows were originally made by the Conrad Schmidt Studios and commissioned for the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore during its 1943-47 alterations. Prior to this time, there was no ornamentation in the Basilica windows.When the decision was made to restore the Basilica to the original design of its founder, Bishop John Carroll, and its architect, Benjamin Latrobe, Cardinal Keeler offered them on permanent loan to Saint Louis Church.
There are nine major windows that comprise the “Basilica set.” Each window (except the first) measures 14 feet high by 5 feet wide and is designed around three center medallions. In each window the upper section depicts events of the Old Testament, the middle section depicts events in the life of Jesus Christ, and the bottom section depicts events in the history of the Catholic Church in America, especially in Baltimore and Maryland. Each section is flanked by images of prophets, saints and the first ten Archbishops of Baltimore. To read the windows in chronological order, one should begin with the first window located above the organ loft and continue counterclockwise (to the left) around the church; the second and third windows are located at the shrine of Saint Louis and so on.
The nine Basilica windows are known by the following names:
1. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
2. THE NATIVITY
3. THE MARRIAGE FEAST AT CANA
4. THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
5. THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM
6. THE LAST SUPPER
7. THE RESURRECTION
9. THE ASSUMPTION
In addition to the original “Basilica windows” St. Louis Church commissioned the large “rose windows” (the circular windows above each transept) and the two sets of windows located at the back of the church. The set of windows at the choir area depict the Life of Saint Louis and the set on the opposite side of the church depict the long and noble history of Saint Louis Church. These windows, created by Artisan Glass Works of Baltimore, were designed in the same style as the Basilica windows in order to create an artistic harmony throughout the church. The newly commissioned windows may be considered “living windows” since they depict, in the lower vertical side panels, the succession of Archbishops to the present thus carrying out the original intent of the Basilica windows. Additional vertical panels located in the choir windows will portray future Archbishops of Baltimore.