St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
6020 W. Ardmore Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646

St Pancratius Window

About Our Stained Glass Windows

Saint Pancratius
3rd Century

« Back to About Our Stained Glass Windows

Saint Pancratius came running home from school as fast as he could to tell his mother the good news. This was a long time ago, about the year 300, when Pancratius was fourteen years old. He, the only Christian boy in his pagan school, had just won the school speech contest with his talk on truthfulness.

When he told his mother the joyful news, she said: Pancratius, I am very proud of you. I will give you a special prize”. Then she took a golden locket from her neck and gave it to her boy. In the locket was set a little piece of linen, all blood-stained. “It is a relic of your father who was put to death when you were a very little boy, because he told the Roman judge that he was a Christian. Wear it always”, she said; “and remember you are the son of a martyr”.

A short time later the Emperor renewed the persecution. His official edict was posted in the center of the city with the words: “Death to all Christians”. Saint Pancratius and another Christian friend decided to tear down the unjust edict. As the boys approached they caught the soldier by surprise, and before he could draw his spear Pancratius had torn down the edict and disappeared into the darkness of the Roman night.

Saint Pancratius was taken prisoner a week later. When the judge questioned why he defied the Emperor of Rome, he replied: “because the edict was full of lies about the Christians who are the best citizens of the Empire”. The judge in anger then sentenced him to be thrown to the lions.

On a great Roman holiday Saint Pancratius stood in the vast Coliseum. Thousands of shouting paged yelled for the wild beasts and the blood of the Christians. In the middle of the Arena, unarmed, knelt the young boy, Pancratius, praying to his Lord. At last the hungry beasts charged from their cages. Claws and teeth cut into the praying boy and he sank in a pool of blood. The pagan mob cheered wildly, but Saint Pancratius did not hear the shouts. He was in Heaven.

In the stained glass window the palm in Pancratius’ right hand represents his martyrdom for Christ. The sword and crown at his feet are also symbolic of his death and spiritual victory.