Discovery of the Relics of St Stephen

walwyn Sun, 08/10/2014 - 21:40
Share this


This stained glass window is dated between 1210 and 1215. Illustrating the discovery of the relics of St Stephen from a dream by Lucian. This window is situated in the ambulatory of Bourges Cathedral.



The window is dedicated to the water carriers, who can be seen in the bottom corners of the panel. In the main roundel of this panel the lefthand quarter shows Stephen's body having been abandoned being attacked by animals. The righthand quarter shows Gamaliel having the body taken away from Jeruslem and secretely buried. In 415 Gamaliel appears in a vision of a priest called Lucian, and tells him to find the relics of Stephen, Nicodemus, and Gamaliel himself. Lucian is told that when the relics are found the drought will be lifted. In the top quarter of the roundel Lucian is shown telling the Bishop of Jerusalem about his dream. However, things do not go to plan and the small scenes at the top of the panel show them digging in the wrong place, until a monk, Migetius tells Lucian that Gamaliel has appeared to him in a dream also and shown him where the exact location of the tombs are. In the lower quarter of the roundel Lucian finds the relics.1




The bottom quarter of the central roundal shows Gamaliel appear to Lucian in his dreams. The left hand quarter shows the relics being installed in the church of Sion at Jerusalem. The right hand quarter shows the rains falling breaking the drought as promised by Gamaliel.1 The top quarter of the roundel shows the relics being moved to Constantinople. A with a woman named Julienne traveled with the relics claiming that the relics are those of her husband.2



The lower quarter of this roundel shows that devils were not deceived by Julienne's ruse and attack the transport. The left hand quarter shows that despite being attacked at sea the relics safely make their way to Constantinople. The top quarter of the panel show the horses transporting the relics leading the way to where the saint should be buried. The right hand quarter shows Julienne informing the emperor of their final arrival. Eventially the relics are taken on to Rome from whence parts of the relics were distributed to various cities and towns.3