Three Early St. Nicholas Stories in Medieval Glass

St. Etienne Cathedral, Auxerre, France

St. Etienne Cathedral in Auxerre, France, is noted for its large stained glass windows. About sixty are from 1235 to 1250. These windows have particularly rich reds and blues. Here is the top portion of one showing three of St. Nicholas early stories.

The lower section shows St. Nicholas consecration as bishop on the right with the baby who wasn't burned when her mother rushed off to the consecration, forgetting her baby in the bath over the fire.

The middle section is the dowry story, with the three maidens and their father on the left and Nicholas putting the gold into the house on the right.

The top shows the story of the two cups. The man who'd prayed for a son had an exquisite golden cup made to leave as a gift to St. Nicholas. However, the cup was so beautiful that he could not part with it and had a second, less fine cup made to give instead. On the way, the son fell from the boat and was lost. The man continued to the church and put the second cup on the altar. It flew off—and did so every time it was put on the altar. The son appeared, carrying the original cup, telling how St. Nicholas had saved him. He put both cups on the altar and they stayed.

Photo: Mike Klug, used by permission ,

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