Thursday, August 3, 2017

female saints

 SS. Dorcas (Tabitha), and Lydia
Sunday past, the churches of Elyria Ohio had an open house in the early afternoon. The city is celebrating two hundred years since its founding. I made it to the three churches on the square and St. Mary's. Those churches were beautiful, and very welcoming.

I was very impressed with St. Andrew's Episcopal. Their diocese is also celebrating two hundred years. I very much was pleased to see their windows. They are of different vintages and studios. Many churches when they have saint windows, lean towards heavy representations of male saints, such as the apostles, evangelists, church doctors, and prophets. St. Andrew's has a small Andrew window, twinned with his brother, Peter. They have two windows of St. Dorcas (Tabitha).

Both Dorcas, and Lydia are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. Dorcas was risen from the dead by Peter, and Lydia of Philippi was the first Christian in Europe, she was a friend of Paul. St. Lydia's Day is August 3rd in the Latin Church, her day varies in other communions.

And in Joppe there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. — Acts ix. 36.

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, did hear: whose heart the Lord opened to attend to those things which were said by Paul. — Acts xvi. 16.

The Orthodox use the title “Equal to the Apostles” with Lydia. Looking for iconography, Lydia Purpuraria, i think would be dressed in purple; but not here anyway. Peter's keys, and Paul's sword are shown in the window to point their identities. Lydia here holds a light, perhaps this shows her 'lighting' the way in Europe?
 SS. Mary, and (her sister) Martha of Bethany
This pair is more familiar. Martha holds food for the guest, for she was busy and considered the guest's needs. Mary was the more contemplative, her hands are shown in prayer.
This is the most surprising church entrance. It was vacation Bible School time for children, and some decorations were for them.

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