Thursday, March 4, 2021

A Stained Glass Tribute to Twenty-Seven Bishops

I know, I know. You're all finding all of these rouwbord (memorial boards) a little repetitious. So let's look at something else in St. Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent before moving on to something else.

There is one very special (and large!) stained glass window in the Cathedral that commemorates the first twenty-seven bishops of the Cathedral, from 1510 through 1963, by their coats of arms. (We have seen several of these coats before.) The shields are arranged in alternating rows of four shields and two shields.

At the very top of the window are two Papal coats of arms, those (I believe) of Pope Pius IV (1559-1565) (Giovanni Angelo Medici) and Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) (Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti), effectively “bookending” the twenty-seven Bishops of St. Bavo’s Cathedral. (Yes, I know the dates of these Popes are not an exact match, but the earlier Medici popes were a bit earlier, and the other arms are not those of Pope Pius XII, so there you go. Plus, the dates in the window immediately below the arms of the two Popes are "1559" and "1927". so there's that.)

The names marked below with an asterisk are those whose arms we have seen elsewhere in the Cathedral. The years (in parentheses) are the dates of their incumbency as Bishop.

1. Cornelius Jansenius (1568–1576)
2. Wilhelmus Damasus van der Linden (1588)
3. Pieter Damant (1590–1609)
4. Charles Maes (1610–1612)

5. Franciscus van der Burch (1613–1616)
6. Jacobus Boonen (1617–1620)

7. Antoon Triest (1622–1657)*
8. Carolus van den Bosch (1660–1665)
9. Eugeen-Albert, count d'Allamont (1666–1673)
10. Frans van Horenbeke (1677–1679)

11. Ignace Schetz de Grobbendonk (1679–1680)
12. Albert de Hornes (1681–1694)

13. Philips Erard van der Noot (1695–1730)*
14. Jan-Baptist de Smet (1730–1741)
15. Maximiliaan-Antoon van der Noot (1743–1770)*
16. Govaart-Geeraard van Eersel (1772–1778)*

17. Ferdinand-Marie, prince von Lobkowitz (1779–1795)
18. Stefaan-Andreas de Paula Fallot de Beaumont (1802–1807)

19. Maurits-Jan-Magdalena, prince de Broglie (1807–1821)
20. Jan-Frans van de Velde (1829–1838)
21. Louis-Joseph Delebecque (1838–1864)
22. Henricus Franciscus Bracq (1865–1888)

23. Henri-Charles Lambrecht (1888–1889)
24. Antoon Stillemans (1890–1916)*

(No bishop; this shield is the coat of arms of Flanders)
25. Emilius Seghers (1917–1927)*
26. Honoré Jozef Coppieters (1927–1947)*
27. Karel Justinus Calewaert (1947–1963)

The scrolls beneath the shields contain the Bishops' mottos. The shields in the top row are surmounted by a mitre and pastoral staff, with a processional cross behind the shield surmounted by a bishop's galero.

And now, for your visual pleasure, here are some closer, overlapping shots of the window showing greater detail (and, as always, you can click on any of these images to see a larger version showing even more detail, and I certainly invite you to do so!):

It's a lovely work of heraldic art, and a very colorful way of paying tribute to the memory of these Bishops.

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