FROM THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS PARISH IN FRIEDRICHSDORF, GERMANY TO ST. MARTIN'S ANGLICAN CHURCH IN SHARJAH, THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church (Herz-Jesu-Kirche), a Roman Catholic Church in Friedrichsdorf, Germany was built in 1912-13 as a branch of the church in Kirdorf. She was extended in 1955, became Parish Church of Friedrichsdorf in 1962, having added a bell tower only the previous year. Unfortunately due to budget constraints, the Diocese deconsecrated her in 2012 and demolished her in 2013 as there were three Catholic Church in Friedrichsdorf. The decision by the Diocese was to close two, turning them into two houses with eight residential units each for people with disabilities. The Tabernacle from Sacred Heart of Jesus Church was carried to St. Boniface, a modern Catholic Church built in 1993 in Friedrichsdorf. Several of the stained-glass windows were donated to St. Martin's Anglican Church in Sharjah, UAE.
ST. PETER CANISIUS
Pieter Kanis was born on 8 May 1521 to the son of the Mayor of Nijmegen, which was part of the Habsburg Netherlands within the Holy Roman Empire. On his 22nd birthday he was the first Dutchman to enter the Society of Jesus. He established the significant influence of the Jesuits in the Counter-Reformation in Germany and participated in the Council of Trent in 1547. He supervised the founding and maintenance of the first German-speaking Jesuit colleges, and created the “German Catechism” in German and Latin. He was Rector and Theology Professor of the University of Innsbruck. He died on 21 December 1597 in Freiburg (Switzerland.) He was seen as a new “Apostle of Germany” and a successor of St. Boniface, for his importance for German Christianity. In 1925 he was canonized by Pope Pius XI. His feast day on 21 December (and for Jesuits on 27 April).
ST. JOHN VIANNEY
Jean-Marie Vianney was born on 8 May 1786 in Dardilly near Lyon, France as a farmer's son; he was baptized the same day. He was drafted into Napoleon’s army in 1809 but deserted, and received amnesty in March 1810. In 1818 he worked in Ars, north of Lyon, first as a chaplain and later as a parish priest [Curé d'Ars]. He preferred being insulted or slandered rather than break the seal of confession and became the greatest confessor of the century. He yearned for the contemplative life of a monk and four times ran away from Ars. From 1830 pilgrimages started to Ars and the faithful parish priest spent up to 17 hours daily in the confessional in the summer. He was a Franciscan tertiary and recipient of the French Legion of Honor. He died on 4 August 1859. On 31 May 1925, he was canonized by Pope Pius XI and in 1929 he was named "Patron Saint of parish priests” worldwide. His feast day is now on 4 August.
ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT
She was one of the outstanding women of the Middle Ages: Gertrude von Helfta was a German Benedictine nun, mystic and theologian who translated parts of the Bible, wrote numerous prayers, and wrote several books. She saw God only as love. Gertrude was born on 6 January 1256 - probably in Thuringia, Germany - and given at the age of five years to the Helfta Monastery in Eisleben to be a Benedictine Nun. In 1281 at the age of 25 she experience the first of a series of visions. She was a devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She died on 16 November 1302. In 1678 she was admitted to the official register of martyrs and saints. Today she is understood as a representative of a theology formulated by women who want a people-friendly, fearless Christianity across all confessional boundaries. Pope Clement XII extended her feast day, and religious communities celebrate on 17 November.
ST. MARIA GORETTI
Maria Goretti was born on 16 October 1890 in Corinaldo near Ancona, Italy. She was only eleven years old when she died on 6 July 1902, a virgin-martyr. Maria Goretti fiercely fought 16-year-old Alessandro Serenelli, who tried to rape her. He pulled out an awl and stabbed her 14 times. The badly injured girl died the day after. On her deathbed she forgave her murderer who was arrested, convicted and jailed for 27 years, during which he became remorseful and upon release went to the monastery and became a lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin until he died peacefully in 1970 at age 87. She was canonized on 24 June 1950 by Pope Pius XII as the St. Agnes of the 20th Century. The explanatory statement states: "Through the canonization of Maria Goretti, the universal Church also honors countless others who in similar circumstances preferred death than sin." Her feast day is 6 July.
ST. POPE PIUS X
Giuseppe Melchiore Sarto was born on 2 June 1835 in Riese, Italy, which at the time belonged to the Austrian Empire. In 1858 he was ordained a priest. He was Bishop of Mantua and Archbishop and Patriarch of Venice. On 4 August 4 1903, he was elected pope and took the name Pius X. He is known for vigorously opposing modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting liturgical reforms and orthodox Theology. He directed the production of the 1915 Code of Canon Law. He changed the rules for church music and allowed only uncastrated boys in church choirs. He also recommended daily communion and the approval of children's communion. His Holiness was known for his firm demeanor and sense of personal poverty. He died in Rome on 20 August 1914 and was canonized on 29 May 1954 by Pope Pius XII. The traditionalist Catholic priestly Society of Saint Pius X is named in his honor. His feast day is 20 August.
The stained-glass window of Pope Pius X was partially damaged in the transport between Germany and the UAE and unfortunately was laid behind the sliding-gate of the carpark for many years collecting dust. Finally, the window was refurbished in 2020 and installed in the church alongside the originals from Germany, and blessed by The Most Reverend Michael Augustine Owen Lewis in February 2020.
ST. MARGARET MARY
Marguerite-Marie was born on 22 July 1647 in Cerosvres, France and entered the Visitation Monastery on 20 June 1671 to join the Order of the Salesian in Paray-le-Monial. Time and again, Margaret spoke of visions which Jesus Christ entrusted her, promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Because of her visions, she was first thought to be mentally ill. Later, she was taken more seriously, and she even asked the French King Louis XIV to consecrate all France to the sacred Heart of Jesus. This wish came true only some 200 years later with the construction of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris. She died on 17 October 1690 and was canonized on 13 May 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. Her feast day is 17 October.
In addition to the stained-glass windows added from Germany, St. Martin's has used the same theme in various parts of the church building and outer gates.
In summer of 2021, St. Martin's undertook the creation of a stained-glass window of St. Martin of Tours, our Patron Saint.
Through the generous supervision and assistance of Mr. Antony Pinheiro and Glasshouse Co. L.L.C in Sharjah, and after several months of meetings to discuss the image and colours which could share the story of St. Martin, a new stained glass window was completed and installed in September 2021, keeping the ethos, frame and many original pieces of glass of the original German windows.
The stained glass window will be blessed at the Feast of St. Martin, on the weekend of 11 November 2021 by Fr. Drew Wayne, the Parish Priest.
ST. MARTIN OF TOURS
(Our Patron Saint)
(316 - 397 AD)
Martin was born in 316 in Savaria, modern-day Hungary. His father was a tribune in the Roman Army. He converted to Christianity at a young age, which had only become legal in 313 by the Edict of Milan. He joined the cavalry at the age of 15 and served in the Roman Army in Gaul. Because of his Christian convictions, he refused to fight in a battle saying, "I am the soldier of Christ: it is not lawful for me to fight." He was charged and jailed, but released as peace was made and the battle never occurred.
He left military service prior to 361 when he became a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers, establishing the Ligugé Abbey and opposing Arianism. He reluctantly consented to be consecrated as the third Bishop of Caesarodunum (Tours) in 371.
He is best known for the account of his using his military sword to cut his cloak in two, to give half to a beggar clad only in rags in the depth of winter. Later that night he had a vision of Jesus wearing that cloak.
His shrine in Tours became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Martin is known to have created a parish system where bishops would visit each parish once a year.
He is the patron saint of beggars, tailors, and military. His monastery at Marmoûtiers trained many Celtic missions and missionaries including St. Patrick and St. Ninian. He died on 8 November 397.
His feast day is 11 November.