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St Francis Convent, Melton Mowbray

 

Artist's statement +/-

The Sun Window

This window contains a variety of images relating to the Canticle, including
Brother Sun
Brother Wind
Sister Water
Mother Earth

Allied to these images are the words “Poverty” and “Conversion”. In more detail, the top of the window depicts the Hand of God directing the Franciscan order to poverty and preparedness to be the Bride of Christ. Directly below this is an image of the ancient symbol used by Francis of Assisi as his signature, the TAU Cross. Wearing the Tau is a declaration of commitment to on-going conversion, which was at the core of Francis’ spirituality.
Below this is the focus of the window in the form of a representation of Brother Sun placed in the centre of a Cross. Underneath this is an abstracted image of Brother wind blowing clouds across the midday sky. Rain falls from the clouds onto the rich vegetation and flowers of the bottom panel, representing the abundance of God’s blessings on those who follow His path. At the bottom of the panel is the inscription “Conversion” suggesting the flowering of eternal life in Christ. Below the inscription is a representational image of the Shamrock and the Thistle.

Sister Moon Window

This window contains a variety of images relating to the Canticle, including:
Sister Moon
Brother Fire
Sister Bodily Death

Allied to these images are the words “Contemplation” and “Minority”. In more detail, the top panel contains the inscription “Contemplation.” Below this is a representation of the Lamb of God. Latin: Agnus Dei is one of the titles given to Jesus in the New Testament and consequently in the Christian tradition. It refers to Jesus’ role as a sacrificial lamb atoning for the sins of man in Christian theology, harkening back to ancient Jewish Temple sacrifices in which a lamb was slain during the passover, the blood was sprinkled along the door, and the lamb was eaten. The act of baptism represents the sinner being sprinkled with the blood of the lamb, and of sins being washed away in the waters of baptism.

The title is first found twice in the Gospel of John:

The next day he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

(John 1:29)

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,

Behold, the Lamb of God.”

(John 1:35)

The central panel contains a representation of Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, referring to the omnipresent nature of Christ, and alluding to the beginning and the end of mortal life. Below this is the theme of the window “Sister Moon” with stars of the firmament surrounding. Below this is the flight of souls reborn into Christ, rising upwards to meet their maker and Saviour, like sparks ascending from a great fire.
The bottom panel contains an image of the consuming fires of “Sister Bodily Death” which can be seen burning all it touches, returning all things to ashes and dust. The base of the fire contains a crown of thorns alluding to the death of Christ on the Cross. Underneath this is the inscription “Minority” referring to the chosen life of those in Christ, who believe in the life here after. Below the inscription is a representational image of a Rose and Protea.

Derek Hunt FMGP ACR