Rose Windows — Holy Rosary Church, Woodland

Holy Rosary Church has four beautiful “rose windows” in the church at each end of the cross formed by the structure. The west and east ends contain images of the Blessed Mother; and the north and south transept walls have images to two special woman saints canonized in the 20th century.

On the west end façade, is the image of the patroness, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. The central circular window is surrounded by smaller arch-shaped windows outlined by stone tracery. The base window color of blue glows with the grace of Our Lady who is depicted with eyes closed and hands folded in prayer as she intercedes for the faithful uttering the prayer etched on the window, “Pray for Us”. On the opposite (east) end of the church is another similarly-styled window of Our Blessed Mother with folded hands and closed eyes on a prayerful face. This image high above the sanctuary sets the scene of peacefulness and grace in this lovely church.

High on the walls on the end of each transept is a rose window of female saints who had special meaning to the parishioners and were canonized within the last century. On the north is Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini and on the south is Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Also known as Mother Cabrini, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini was an Italian-born woman who immigrated to the U.S. in 1889 and became the first U.S. Citizen to be canonized on July 7, 1946. Mother Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. She was particularly dedicated to fulfilling the needs of Italian immigrants such as herself. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton who is pictured on the south transept, was the first native-born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church on September 14, 1975. Although Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was born into a wealthy family in New York and had five children with a wealthy businessman, many tragedies struck the family which the young mother persevered through with the grace of God. She eventually took vows and became known as Mother Seton. In 1809, she founded the first American religious community for women, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph, to educate the poor and orphans. She was instrumental in establishing Catholic charity organizations and schools in the United States. She is considered the patron of Catholic education in America.

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