Wednesday 18 November 2009

The Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven

(Click to enlarge) In the top two central panels (with red background) may be seen the figures of Christ (right) with hand raised in blessing and turning towards the figure of the Blessed Virgin (left) who is seen seated and crowned bowing to Him. Tothe right and left of them and in successive rows of panels beneath are the figures of the saints in attendance. When, exactly a month ago, I stood in Gloucester Cathedral, I suddenly found myself recalling the days of my youth when the Fifth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary would be given announced as "The Coronation of Our Lady Queen of Heaven and the Glory of all the Saints" (my emphasis). This is so clearly the subject of the Gloucester window which I think is the largest medieval stained glass window in England. To the left of the figure of Our Lady is that of St Peter who as patron of the Abbey is shown holding a church.


  1. How ever was this preserved from the iconoclasts? Thanks be to God that it was! This is one more reason for me to go back to England for a third time.

  2. It is amazing, isn't it! I don't know the answer to your question but it is worth noting that Protestant iconoclasm occurred in a series of waves, under Henry VIII, Edward VI, Elizabeth I and during the Civil War/Commonwealth period and was by no means popular. I think that glass often survived the earlier waves because of its functional nature- replacing it with clear glass was itself a costly option. There is an account of a Captain William Dowsing, a Puritan who led an expedition destroying stained glass windows around Norfolk in the 1640s. That he was able do so a full one hundred years after the Henrician onslaught on the Church suggests that much had survived. The activities of a fanatic like Dowsing were exceptional and much defacing if images was carried out to order by individuals who were paid for the "work"