The Saint Luke Window
This window, given in memory of Mr. Clifford McIntosh by his wife and daughters, portrays the Gospel of St. Luke. Symbolically known as the Winged Ox, St. Luke’s Gospel emphasizes the sacrificial death of the Savior.At the very top of this window are two vials, representing St. Luke as ‘the beloved physician’. Luke is seen seated at his desk writing his Gospel. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is represented by the streams of light flowing from the Dove.
In the center scene Luke is holding the Gospel he has written. From the earliest days of Christianity the evangelists and other saints were always shown with the nimbus, or circle of light, surrounding the head. The nimbus is the symbol of sanctity and light. When the nimbus is triradiant, or three-rayed, it always represents the Deity.
The artist’s palette indicates that Luke, according to tradition, was also an artist. Whether he painted the pictures of Christ and the Virgin Mary which some have attributed to him is not certain. However, that he was superb in the artistry of painting with words none can deny.
As those familiar with Scripture might readily guess, the figure in the next scene with Luke represents Paul. Some Bible scholars believe that Luke gave up his practice as a general physician so that he might be Paul’s personal physician as he accompanied Paul on his missionary journey.
Another symbol, frequently used for Luke is the hatchet. This alludes to the sacrificial death of Christ. The hatchet was used by the priests as they prepared to offer a sacrifice upon the altar.
The book at the bottom of the window represents the Gospel according to St. Luke. Luke apparently had never seen Jesus, but gathered the material for his Gospel from eye-witnesses including Mary, the mother of Jesus. Having made this study and having gathered this material, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write it into the Gospel which has ever since been treasured by the Church.