The Chancel Windows

St. Matthew & St. Mark

Photograph by Bill Blanchard


As one faces the rear of the Chapel, the first window on the left is of St. Matthew and St. Mark. Richly robed, each evangelist is holding a quill pen and a codex (book), symbolizing their respective Gospels. Evangelists often are depicted with a particular symbol with which they are associated. In our series, only St. John is accompanied by a symbol. The evangelists are identified by the scroll beneath their feet.


Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, traditionally is the author of the first Gospel. The son of Alphaeus, before his conversion Matthew was a publican, that is, a tax collector by profession. He is identified with "Levi" in Mark and Luke.


His apostolic activity at first was restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or was martyred.


His feast day is September 21. He is the patron of bankers.


Mark, the author of the second Gospel, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem is believed to have served as a meeting place for Christians.


Mark was associated with Paul and Barnabas, who was Mark's cousin, on their missionary journey through the island of Cyprus. Later he accompanied Barnabas alone. Tradition tells us that his Gospel reflects the teaching of Peter, and attributes to Mark the founding of the church in Alexandria, Egypt.


His feast day is April 25. He is the patron of notaries.


The lower portions of these windows are ventilators. Ventilators incur the most damage in stained glass windows, as they are repeatedly opened and closed. These ventilators were repaired in a most unfortunate manner, resulting in the loss of part of the legend, in this case, the "St." before the name of Matthew.