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John was considered the youngest of the twelve Disciples and the brother of James the Great. The disciple’s youth in the window is reflected in the face of the figure. John is called “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. John was the only disciple present at the crucifixion together with the three Marys according to the Gospel of John. Tradition, that is legend, says that from this time on Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived with John.

Later on it is said that John travelled to Ephesus where he endured persecution at the hand of Emperor Domitian, who, according to legend, twice attempted to take his life. On one occasion, the emperor ordered him to drink a cup of poisoned wine. When John took up the cup to obey, the poison departed in the form of a snake. Hence the snake escaping the cup in the window.

On another occasion, John was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, but emerged unhurt. John is best known for the version of the fourth gospel which is named after him. Also, three epistles and the Book of Revelation are credited to his name. Biblical scholarship, however, does not believe that any of the gospels or epistles were written by the disciples. Rather they are named in honor of the first followers of Christ.

The eagle on the bottom of the window is symbolic of John’s Gospel. The eagle stands for inspiration by soaring upward close to the sun. Because John, in his gospel, soared upward in his contemplation of the divine nature of Jesus, the eagle became his symbol.

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