All images are copyright © 2008-2013 Russ Martin,
(unless otherwise indicated). All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Peace To You

So often I come across words that have no meaning to me as I explore these wonderful churches. It's that part of explore and discovery that I love so much. While visiting the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary I came across this stained glass window.

Stained glass window of hourglass with wings

I was pretty sure I understood the winged hourglass but had no clue what PAX VOB stood for. In my research I found this great explanation from a church website that has documented their church extremely well.

Close up of stained glass window of hourglass with wings

We see an hour glass with wings. This symbolism is that time is fleeting. Only Eternity is lasting. The oil container below the hour glass has olive branches along its sides and the words 'Pax Vob'. Before time stops for us the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is God's way of helping us prepare to meet him. From the olive branches we get the oil used in the Anointing of the sick person. Oil is the symbol for spiritual strength, which the sick person needs at the time that person is physically the weakest. 'Pax Vobiscum' (Peace to you) are the first words of the Rite when the priest begins the prayer for the sick, "Peace to all of you in this house".

Related Links: Tour of our church

Monday, March 30, 2009

Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God;
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Stained glass window of King David playing a harp

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise;
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100

Picture of stained glass window in balcony/choir loft of King David playing the harp taken at St. Wendelin Church in St. Wendelin Ohio.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sr. Ann Shields

Sr. Ann Shields noted Catholic author and radio show host for Food for the Journey was at Holy Angels Church this Friday. She was the guest speaker after the Mass for a fund raiser for Radio Maria 88.7 FM (WHJM Anna, Ohio) or on the web.

Sr. Ann Shields speaking at Holy Angels Church

I did not make the Mass but Kurt (Shadows of Augustine) has an excellent post on both the Mass and Ann Shields. Click Here Shadows of Augustine to read his post.

Sr. Ann Shileds Speaking Holy Angels Church

I've become an fan of her morning airing of Food for the Journey on Radio Maria and have made it a staple in my morning commute. Ann is inspiring to listen to on the radio and I found so in person as well. Afterwards she was swamped with fans eager to say hello and to get a signed copy of her new book.

Of course I took a few shots of the church. Pictured here are St. Therese and one of the Stations of the Cross.

Picture of St. Theresa and Close up of one of the Stations of the Cross

I found this to be an interesting declaration for Pro Life.

Pieta Statue with Pro Life bumper stickers

Pictures taken at Holy Angels Church (Sidney, Ohio)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Wedding of Cana

The Second Luminous Mystery

Jesus, His Mother and disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana.
During the wedding feast the wine ran short.
Mary turned to Jesus: "They have no wine."
Jesus replied: "What would you have me do?
My hour has not yet come."
Mary said to the waiters: "Do whatever he tells you."

Stained glass window of Jesus turning water into wine

There were six stone water jars, each holding fifteen to twenty gallons. Jesus bids the waiters to fill the jars with water, and then draw some out and take it to the chief steward. The chief steward said to the groom: "Every man serves the good wine first... but you have saved the good wine until now."

At Mary’s request, Jesus worked His first miracle.
By His presence, Christian marriage was raised to the dignity of a Sacrament.

Picture of Stained Glass Window taken at St. Wendelin Church, Wendelin Ohio.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gone But Not Forgotten

Engraved picture of Saint Patrick Church from memorial plaque

St. Patrick Catholic Church was organized as a parish in 1862. The first church made of logs, was built in 1863. At that time the community was mostly Irish. The second church, a wood frame building was erected in 1874. The last church built of bricks, was constructed in 1915.

Picture of Saint Patrick Church Memorial with statue of Saint Patrick and Cemetary in the foreground

Over the years, people of German heritage settled in this area. The parish community grew to over 100 families. St. Patrick Church operated a school until 1954. The church closed in 1994, and the building itself was razed in 2001.

Statue of Saint Patrick

The St. Patrick parishioners contributed their spiritual, physical, and material resources to make the parish community successful. The parish thrived due to the religious zeal of its members. At least 24 parishioners entered religious vocations.

Close up of church bell with inscription St. Patrick pray for us

In the spirit of the St. Patrick Community, welcome to all who visit here! May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warmly upon your face, and may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Close up of the head of Saint Patrick StatueThe above pictures are of the memorial to the St. Patrick Church of St. Patrick Ohio. The memorial sits where the church use to be. The text is from the plaque honoring the Church's memory and parishioners. I found the blessing at the end very fitting.

Crucifixion St. Bernard (Burkettsville Ohio)

If you found this post looking for the It's Friday but Sunday's Comin' video click this link to see the video.

Last Sunday I made a day of steeple chasing after church. I spent several hours at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and then a stop-by at St. Wendelin and St. Bernard. St. Bernard is huge and dominates the landscape. It was late and I just wanted to poke my head in and plan for a future visit. As I was leaving I looked up and this is what I saw.

Picture of Crucifixion in balcony of church with large stained glass window in the backgroud

It was one of those jaw dropping moments, and to think I almost missed it.

It's a very tight crop but it was very low light making for a long exposure and because I was shooting up limited on what angle I could use. Most of the detail in the crucifixion I could not make out until post processing.

Picture taken at St. Bernard Burkettsville Oh.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

St. Remy Baptizes King Clovis

Stained glass window of St. Remy Baptizing King ClovisAfter the Germans had invaded France in 496, Clovis, seeing he was going to be annihilated, cried out "O Jesus, you who Clotilde (His wife) adores, give me victory and I will have myself baptized in your name." Hardly had he spoken, than the army of the Germans was vanquished. This answer to prayer brought Clovis before St. Remy to be baptized on December 25, 496. Clovis was baptized standing in a cistern receiving a triple sprinkling of water which symbolized faith in the Trinity. The bishop then poured the holy chrism over his head, anointing him with the sacrament of confirmation.

Text from St. Remy Catholic Church History Web page.

Picture of Stained Glass Window taken at St. Remy Church Russia Ohio.

I just love it when churches have a web page and include their history.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me (Matthew 27:46)

Close-up of bronze crucifix with stained glass window in the background

Jesus shout of despair from the cross, not surprisingly comes from scripture. Psalm 22 is David's lament of his feeling of abandonment from the God he sought with all his heart. The feeling that most of us at sometime in our life will feel. As you read the Psalm you see bits and pieces of the crucifixion. Psalm 22:7-8 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: He trust in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him, Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.

Bronze crucifix with stained glass window in the background

The side bar in my Promise Keepers Study Bible says "In their darkest, most critical hours, both David and Jesus submitted to God the Father. Study this psalm as an instructional booklet on how a man of God responds when God seems nowhere near."

Why is it the simpler a biblical truth is the harder it seems to follow!

Picture of Crucifix taken at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Cassella, Ohio.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church (Cassella)

Up until now I had only posted pictures of the outside of this church. This Sunday I checked out the inside and found a very lovely church. Upon entering parishioners are greeted by this sign.

Sign above door A Plenary Indulgence can be gained by all the Faithfull in this church ...
This church is one of the few that has a mural adorning the ceiling.

Ceiling mural with Mary in heavan surrounded by angels.

It was quite dark in the church and it took some time for my eyes to adjust from the bright sunlight outside. When they did one of the first things I found was this crucifix.

Close-up of the head of Jesus crucified on the cross

Of course the church has its share of stained glass windows. These portraits of Mary and Jesus were my favorite of the bunch.

Stained Glass window portraits of Jesus and Mary

And of course we cannot forget the Stations of the Cross. These were large statues along the wall. I plan on doing a future post featuring one or more of these.

Close-up of the Station of the cross statue  where Jesus meets the sorrowful woman of Jerusalem

This is a close-up of when Jesus Meets the sorrowful woman of Jerusalem.

The Main Altar featured Mary and Child.

Main Alter with Mary and Christ child

Here is the right altar with Joseph and a station setup with the Lent Cross. Notice the dice (often used for what was used to cast lots for Jesus' clothing).

Alter with Joseph

Of course there are lots more pictures but this will do for now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

To Hear Your Voice

Stained glass window with close-up of Jesus the Good Shepherd with a lamb on his shoulder

Good Shepherd, neither slumber, neither sleep,
but hear this lost lamb far afield, and seek,
and find this unfed firstling wounded, weak,
and wanting to be brought back to Your sheep.
Would I not follow You? Would I not keep
the ways and will and Word I hear You speak?
Would I not listen to Your voice, unique,
which must call even now, deep unto deep?

Stained glass window of Jesus the Good Shepherd with a lamb on his shoulder

I want to hear Your voice, O Rhema Word,
like I have heard the Logos I was fed
and disobeyed. Yet once again, I heard
You like a sheep, words uninterpreted,
and followed You, a little lamb so stirred
to hear Your voice, lovingly shepherded!
~ by Michael Rew

Copyright 2009 by Michael Rew
All Rights Reserved to the Glory of God

Michael has been very kind in letting me use his psonnets in my blog to go along with some of my pictures. I hope in the future to be able to use more of his work to illustrate my work as we both try to use our talents for the God we serve.

To read more of Michael's work click this link Revival of Love

Picture of stained glass window taken at the the St. Wendelin Church in Wendelin Ohio.

Mary's Treasure

Luke 2:19 (NIV)
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Stained glass window of praying Mary with baby Jesus

The picture is a section of stained glass window featuring the Holy Family. The window is located in the St. Nicholas Church in Osgood Ohio. I was very pleased with the way this one came out.

Camera Info - ISO 200, 1/125, f/4.5 Canon 100mm Macro Lens

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Day of the Lord

Stained Glass window of Mary and the Deciples receiving the Holy Spirit at PentecostActs 2:1-4(NIV)
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

When people saw this some made fun and said they must of had too much wine. Peter rebuked them by quoting the Prophet Joel

Joel 2:28-32 (NIV)
"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved;

This is one of two main stained glass windows in the St. Louis Church in North Star. I was very excited to find it. It is the first one I have seen with the Holy Spirit descending on Mary and the Disciples at Pentecost. You can click on the picture for a larger view.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Vestibule of Saint Louis Church in North Star

Small statue of John the Baptist baptising JesusThese pictures are from the vestibule of the main entrance to the Saint Louis Church in North Star Ohio. This first one is John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. It sits atop the baptistery, a common site in the Catholic churches. What made this one special was all the light I had to work with coming through the glass doors. I must admit that these are not the exact true colors. The figures blended in too much with the wall so I created some contrast in post processing.

This large medallion of Madonna and Child hung on the wall left of the entrance to the sanctuary. I almost had too much light for this one, but I was able to make some in camera tweaks and of course some post processing as well to bring it along.

Large white plaster relief medallion of Madonna and Child

Look for another post in the near future for more pictures of this lovely church.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Third Sunday of Lent

High Alter with Liturgy book and St. Joseph Altar in BackgroundWith photography it's all about the light. One of my readers left a comment that I should check out the St. Louis Church in North Star because it was well lit during the day. Well I am glad to say they did not steer me wrong. I found several window lit photo opportunities to take advantage of. One was the High Altar pictured here. I took several shots from various angles and finally settled on this one for the blog. It also shows off some of the architecture and the Altar of St. Joseph in the background.

Close up of High Alter with Liturgy Book

This last picture is where the name of the post comes from; It's the liturgy for the Third Sunday of Lent.

Close up of Liturgy Book bookmarking Third Sunday of Lent
My eyes are ever fixed on the Lord, for He releases my feet from the snare. O look at me and be merciful, for I am wretched and alone. PS 25:15-16

(If you click on the picture you will see that it says Psalms 24 but I'm pretty sure its 25.)

Egredietur Virga De Radice Jesse

I found this lovely statue of St. Anne Mother of Mary and the Virgin Mary in the Church of St. Louis. At first glance it looked just like other statues of the two I had seen before. It was the window lighting that had caught my eye.

Window lit statue of St. Anne Mother of Mary and the Virgin Mary with scroll with Latin inscription Egredietur virga de radice Jesse

The inscription on the scroll is what held my attention. "Egredietur Virga De Radice Jesse." While the only word I understood was Jesse, I was pretty sure I knew what it was about. A Google search confirmed my guess.

Close up picture of scroll with Latin inscription Egredietur virga de radice Jesse.

The prophecy of Isaiah that a Messiah would spring from the family of Jesse, the Father of David.

Isaiah 11:1-3 (New King James Version)
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

The Latin "Egredietur Virga De Radice Jesse" refers to the first part of the first verse. "There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,"

It's the little things like this that make me want to keep exploring "The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches", and to keep coming back to see what has changed or what I missed in my earlier travels.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Life of Christ (In Stained Glass)

Collage of stained glass windows showing the life of Christ. Nativity, Gethsemane, Crucifixion, Resurection, Good Shepherd

These were taken at the Holy Family Church in Frenchtown, located in Darke County. I saw these and was awed to find this wonderful portrayal of our Lord Jesus in stained glass in such an out-of-the-way church.

Stained glass window portraits of Jesus crowned with thorns and the Virgin Mary Praying

I think these have to be the richest and most vibrant colored stained glass I have seen so far.

I ran out of time and light so I am hoping to come back soon to get some more pictures of the church.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Interesting trip to Saint Nicholas Church (Osgood)

Window lit statue of Mary standing on the world with a serpent under her foot.I am counting down the days till spring and I am already enjoying the longer days. Today I took advantage of this after work and visited 4 churches. Two new ones and two revisits.

I didn't go inside on my first visit to St. Nicholas. At that time I was just planning on taking outside pictures and featuring only those churches listed on the Ohio Byway. Today I stepped inside and found a few surprises.

While I was taking this great window lit portrait of the statue of Mary I had the uneasy feeling I was being watched. I took a quick look around the church and didn't see anyone. It wouldn't have been the first time I startled someone in the choir loft.

Statue of Saint Therese holding a crucifix and roses.

Then my eye caught St. Therese (The Little Flower of Jesus) looking right at me. I composed and snapped my picture and checked my display. When I saw her eyes staring back at me on my LCD screen I must admit I freaked just a little.

Close up of Saint Therese statue's face detailing her glass eye

Closer inspection revealed that St. Therese had glass eyes. This was the first time I had found this in the churches in our area, or noticed it at least.

Staute of Saint Nicholas

This statue of St. Nicholas looks remarkably like the St. Nick of my youth. The resemblance made me do a little Google research. I found this website a good read.

St. Nicholas (Discovering the truth about Santa Clause)

The church held yet one more surprise for me. Do you see anything different in this picture of Jesus Crucified.

Jesus Crucified with four nails.

This is also the first time I've seen Christ Crucified with four nails. I had to Google this and found according to Gypsy folklore the four nails were the norm but a gypsy stole one of the four to be used in Christ Crucifixion. The first time I had heard that story too.

You can read more about it here: Nails of Crucifixion

I am really glad that I had another opportunity to visit and tour this church.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Bust of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The following text is from the "Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe" web page found in the Link section of this post.

Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico as the pregnant Mother of God to Saint Juan Diego, a Chicemeca Indian, on December 9, 10 and 12, 1531. She left a Miraculous Image of her appearance on his cactus fiber cloak, or "tilma", which still exists today for all to see in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Our Lady came to offer faith, hope and consolation to the oppressed natives of Mexico and to reconcile then with their Spanish rulers. She put an end to the bloody human sacrifice of the Aztecs and converted nine million natives in the next nine years!

Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Image of Our Lady is actually an Aztec Pictograph which was read and understood quickly by the Aztec Indians.

She was greater than the dreaded Huitzilopochtli, their sun-god of war.

She had clearly crushed Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent moon- god.

She was greater than the stars of heaven which they worshipped.
She was a virgin and the Queen of the heavens for Virgo rests over
her womb and the northern crown upon her head. She appeared on
December 12, 1531 and the stars that she wore are the constellations
of the stars that appeared in the sky that day!

She was a Queen because she wears the color of royalty.

Close up of shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Her God was that of the Spanish Missionaries, Jesus Christ her son
who died on the cross for all mankind.

She was with child because she wore the Aztec Maternity Belt.

She was the Mother of God because the flower was a special symbol
of life, movement and deity-the center of the universe.

She was not God but clearly there was one greater than Her and she
pointed her finger to the cross on her brooch.

She is the Queen of the Earth because she is wearing a contour map
of Mexico telling the Indians exactly where the apparition took place

These pictures were taken at the

Building sign the Hoying Professional Building

in Minster Ohio, while touring Radio Maria broadcasting station and office located in the same building.

Wikipedia Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My First Lent

The church my wife and I were attending did not promote the practice of Lent. So without much instruction my wife and I decided to give it a try and give up all carbonated beverages. I found out quick that I was addicted to Pepsi. I would count down the days to the weekend and look for substitutes through the week. Nothing would satisfy my craving. Unfortunately my obsession obscured my opportunity to grow in my faith.

Outdoor Lent Cross with shadow

I have since matured in my walk and have a better understanding and appreciation of the season of Lent, but I have always looked at it as a time of sacrifice (of giving something up). I was cruising the net on the subject and found this Q and A.

Q: What are appropriate activities for ordinary days during Lent?

A: Giving up something we enjoy for Lent, doing of physical or spiritual acts of mercy for others, prayer, fasting, abstinence, going to confession, and other acts expressing repentance in general.

I never thought of the "doing of physical or spiritual act of mercy for others" as something to do in observance of Lent. For those of you who have grown up with the practice this is probably not much of a revelation but it was for me. One that I plan to put into practice for the next Lent Season.

Click the following Link to read more of the article: All About Lent

Picture of Cross taken at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in McCartyville.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

St. Remy Catholic Church (Russia)

I got a chance after work to visit St. Remy located in Russia Ohio.

This is one post with more to come later. I decided to make this first post something other than altar and stained glass window shots. The church has some great windows that I will feature in another post. Until then here is a close up of the Resurrected Christ from one window.

In the entry way I found this beautiful Baptistery and Jesus Baptismal picture.

Across from the Baptistery was this great Peita statue. This was taken with just light coming through the glass doors off to the right.

All the statues were recently restored by a local artist.
Click here to see some of the before and after pictures and to check out her website. Cameo Francis

The Stations of the Cross are large arched reliefs inset into the wall.

Station 6 Veronica Wipes Jesus Face

The entire set was worth photographing and I hope to do so on my next visit.

I really like this picture of St. Remy with the stained glass window in the background. I took several pictures before I stumbled upon this one.

The Main Altar had this cloth like curtain hanging in front of a mosaic stained glass window which created this rather unusual affect.

This Cross from on the High Altar also took several attempts before I got the picture that I wanted.

I snapped this one as I was leaving. The inscription reads "Je suis l'immacule at conception" - French for "I am the Immaculate Conception," which the virgin Mary reportedly said to St. Bernadette at Lourdes. (Thanks Kurt for the update)

This was just a fantastic picture outing for me. I am looking forward to coming back and taking more pictures.

Related Links:
St. Remy Church History