About Our Stained Glass Windows
Saint Tarcissus, Martyr of the Eucharist
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Saint Tarcissus lived at a time when there were no beautiful churches. Because of persecution the homes of loyal Christians became the churches for the secret gatherings of the faithful. In these houses the Catholics said their prayers, they went to Mass, and received the Sacraments. Even the Blessed Eucharist had to hidden in safe corners of these early Christian homes.
Young Tarcissus was an altar boy in the turbulent days of persecution. The prisons were filled with condemned men and women who would not deny their religion even to save their bodily life. In these lonely prisons the Christians longed for Christ in Holy Communion before they faced death. Yet no priest could dare bring the Eucharist to the prisoners. And so the bishop chose Tarcissus, though just an altar boy, to carry Christ to the martyrs. A little bag containing the Sacred Hosts was hung around his neck. At night-fall he started on his mission. Along the way he was detected; and in trying to safeguard his Precious Treasure, he began to run only to be cornered by a mob of ruffians who were looking for Christian blood. Ever tighter he clutched to his Saviour. They began beating him with clubs, pounding him with stones. He kept praying and held fast to the Blessed Sacrament. Finally covered with blood, he sank to the ground – a martyr of the Holy Eucharist.
In the early hours of the morning when the streets were empty and still, Christians came to remove the torn and bloody body of Saint Tarcissus. They reverently carried their newest martyr to his burial place in the catacombs. And over his tomb Pope Damasus wrote this inscription:
“Saint Tarcissus went away bearing the Sacraments of Christ, while criminals tried to profane them. He, for his part, preferred to allow himself to be murdered rather than to deliver the Body of Christ to mad dogs.”
In the stained glass window Saint Tarcissus holds a palm in his right hand to signify martyrdom. The fish and bread at his feet are symbols of the Blessed Sacrament, the “fish” being the ancient sign for Christ. Around his neck hangs a chain to which is attached the circular pix, the container for carrying the Holy Eucharist.
Saint Tarcissus, patron of our Parish, give us a love for the Blessed Eucharist.