Saint Johns self guided stained glass tourThe beautiful stained glass windows of St. John’s Church illustrate many episodes of our religious history.

Begin in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the south wing of the Church, and move to the right [clockwise] around the nave. Highlights of the New Testament tell the story of the life of Christ from His birth to betrayal, death, resurrection and Ascension.

The windows demonstrate the devotion of the parishioners of this parish family throughout the life of the church building.

There are other windows in the entrances and alcoves that are also worthy of note. These are of various Saints and Fathers of the Church, but it is the life of Christ that is central to our worship here.

(Text by Bruce Shaw, Photos by Taylor Hinote and Forrest Ficke)

A self-guided tour

  • The Great High Priest

    Saint Johns the great high priest1 Saint Johns the great high priest2The figure of Jesus graces this window superimposed over the figure of the priest Melchizedek, king of Salem who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings in the Old Testament.

    In his Letter to the Hebrews Paul speaks of Jesus the Eternal High Priest. This becomes more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, “Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

  • The Annunciation

    saint johns stained glass the annunciation1 saint johns stained glass the annunciation2The Angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary in this window bringing the message that she is to become the mother of the Son of God.

    Luke 1.26 “Hail, O favored one, The Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

    And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus. This young woman, an unmarried virgin, submits to the will of God with the following words:

    Luke 1.38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord: let it be to me according to thy word.”

  • The Nativity

    saint johns stained glass the nativity1 saint johns stained glass the nativity2Mary and Joseph and the Christ Child are depicted here in the manger at Bethlehem. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is born. He has become man, the Word made flesh. He is the second Adam, Emmanuel, God with us.

    He has taken our human nature, is both God and man. He will live with us without spot of sin, yet he will upon himself the sins of the world, and die on the Cross that we might be saved from death.

    Luke 2.6 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

  • The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

    saint johns stained glass the purificationAccording to law, Mary and Joseph present their first born Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem where they meet Simeon and Anna. Simeon utters the deathless words that are to become in our time the Nunc Dimittis, the second canticle of the evening office. Simeon also speaks of the sorrow that will break his mother’s heart.

    Luke 2.28 ……he took up in his arms, and blessed God and said, “Lord now lettest though thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared before the face of all people: a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.”

    And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them and said unto Mary his mother. “Behold this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against, yea a sword shall pierce through thine also, that the thoughts of many shall be revealed.”

  • Jesus teaching in the temple at Jerusalem

    saint johns stained glass jesus teaching1 Jesus is seen here as a boy of twelve teaching the astounded doctors in the temple at Jerusalem. We see a worried Mary and Joseph, who having feared for him when he could not be found in their traveling party went back to seek him.

    saint johns stained glass jesus teaching2Jesus teaching i the temple at Jerusalem [detail], Stained Glass, St. John's, Newport, RIThey question him, and we hear in his reply his first statement referring to himself as the Son of God.

    Luke 2.48 And when they saw him they were astonished and his mother said to him, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing.”

    And he said unto them: “How is it that you sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

  • The Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist

    saint johns stained glass the baptism2 saint johns stained glass the baptism1John is seen baptizing Jesus in the Jordan, with the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descending on Jesus. Mark 1.9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was me for I am a sinful man, baptized by John in the Jordan.

    And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit, like a dove descending upon him; and there came a voice from heaven, saying, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well leased,”

  • Christ summons the Apostles

    saint johns stained glass christ summons1 saint johns stained glass christ summons2Christ summons Peter, James and John from their trade as fishermen, exhorting them to forsake everything and follow him, the exhortation that leads to eternal Life.

    Christ summons the Apostles [detail], Stained Glass, St. John's, Newport, RI Luke 5.8 When Simon Peter saw it he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying: “Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him at the great draught of fishes which they had taken: and so was also James and John the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon: “Fear not, from hence forth thou shalt catch men.”

  • The Wedding at Cana

    saint johns stained glass the wedding1 saint johns stained glass the wedding2Jesus at the request of his mother turns water into wine, the beginning ofhis miracles manifesting his glory as the Son of God to all who witness it. John 2.7 And he saith unto them: “Fill the water pots with water.”

    And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith to them : “Draw out now, and bear it to the governor of the feast.”

  • The Transfiguration of our Lord

    saint johns stained glass transfiguration1 saint johns stained glass transfiguration2Jesus has taken Peter, John and James into the pray and is transfigured and is visited by Elias and Moses who discuss with him his coming passion and death.

    Moses and Elias are representative of the Law and the Prophets. Jesus’ life and passion are the fulfillment of all that the ancient prophets foretold.

    Luke 9.28 And it came to pass about eight days after these sayings, Jesus took Peter and John and James and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias ; who appeared in glory, and spoke of his decrease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

  • The Last Supper

    saint johns stained glass the last supper1 saint johns stained glass the last supper2At the Passover, Jesus inaugurates the Holy Eucharist, the central sacrament of our faith, sharing bread and wine with his disciples. Jesus is offering the cup. Judas Iscariot is shown in the background, isolated from the other disciples, lost to Satan, going to betray Christ to the Jews.

    Mark 14.23 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread : and blessed it, and gave it to them and said : “Take eat, this is my body.” And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them; and they all drank of it.

    And he said unto them : “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily, I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine until that day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.

  • The Resurrection

    saint johns stained glass the resurrection1 saint johns stained glass the resurrection2Christ has died for our salvation on the cross. After three days he has risen from the dead. Mary Magdalene sees the angels sitting where the body of Christ was lain. She sees Christ himself, not recognizing him, until he speaks to her.

    Christ bears the banner of his victory over death, a victory won for all who will follow him.

    John 20.14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself, back, and saw Jesus standing : and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus said unto her : “Woman why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him : “Sir if you have borne him hence, tell me where you hast laid him : and I will take him away.”

    Jesus saith under her : “Mary.” She turned herself, and saith unto him : “Rabboni” (which is to say, Master).

  • Jesus appears to the Disciples at the Sea of Tiberias

    saint johns stained glass jesus appears1 saint johns stained glass jesus appears2Some of the disciples are fishing with Peter in the Sea of Tiberias. Jesus in his third appearance after His resurrection visits them, but is unknown to them until recognized by John.

    Peter who has been working naked dives into the sea and swims ashore in his haste to see the Master. Peter kneels before the Lord, bare-legged having hastily thrown his cloak on over his nakedness.

    John 21.7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter : “It is the Lord.” Now when Simon Peter Heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him (for he was naked) and did cast himself into the sea.

  • The Revelation

    saint johns stained glass the revelation1 saint johns stained glass the revelation2John is shown as an old man with the angel who has shown him the Revelation. His symbol, the eagle, is shown at the angel’s feet. This is the only representation of John at full age in the church. John is usually depicted as a young man.

    Revelation 1.1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place; and he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

  • The Ascension

    saint johns stained glass the ascension1 saint johns stained glass the ascension2Christ is carried up to heaven to it at the right hand of reminder the Father. Flights of angels minister to him. His Mother Mary and the eleven disciples watch with sorrowful eyes as their Lord ascends.

    The ground before his kneeling Mother bears the imprints of his feet, one more reminder that he was indeed risen and real, and triumphant over death. Luke 24.50 And he led them as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them.

    And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them and carried up into heaven.