December 28, 2011

Belgian stained-glass window in Bethlehem

Christmas is behind us and here I am after the fact with a posting related to it. The excuse for sending just one more Christmas related posting into the blog-world is that via Facebook (!) I just learned about the central stained-glass window by the brothers Ganton of the Church of St. Catherine in Bethlehem. 
This is the church where the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem celebrates Midnight mass on Christmas eve. The church is a Catholic church and Franciscan monastery  connected to the Church of the Nativity. 
The window, a present of Belgium, originally installed in 1926,  was restored in 2004  by Luc and Ingrid Mestdagh, of the well known glass workshop in Ghent.
Belgium's Consul General in Jerusalem at the time, Mr Guido Courtois, lent his support to the project and saw it to completion.
The window shows Jesus with his parents, with St Francis and a Franciscan brother. The stamp bears Belgium's coat of arms and the locket portrait of Belgian Cardinal Mercier.