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Read the daily quote from Pope Francis


Nave Window 4

In his eagerness to uphold the divinity of Christ, Eutyches, a cleric of Constantinople, denied His humanity.  Eutyches said the human nature in Christ was absorbed into the divine.  Against this false teaching that in Christ ther is but one nature (monophysitism) the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in 451 defined that Christ is perfect God and perfect man (perfectus Deus; perfectus homo)

Note the ingenuity of the artist in portraying this truth concerning Christ.  The right side of the figure of Christ shows the arm nailed to the Cross, the head thorn crowned, the human nature passible.  The left side of the figure show the are raised in a gesture of supreme majesty and loving authority, the head adorned with a kingly-crown.  Thus in the same Person are two natures, without change, without commixture, yet henceforth inseparably united.

The Father holds His hand on the "divine nature" side of Christ to indicate the divinity of Christ.  The Holy Spirit, one of the indivisible Trinity, is pictured above the head of Christ in the form of a dove, with the halo interlaced with the haloes of the Father and the Son.

Below to the left and to the side of the Father's hand, there is a fist representing the vandalism of the "Robber Synod of Ephesus."  This was a meeting of Bishops called by Dioscorus, a friend of Eutyches, which defended him and was labeled "robber synod" by Pope Leo.

At the base of the design is the pennant representing the famous "dogmatic epistle" of the Pope (Leo the Great) which the Council of Chalcedon.  It is placed over a shield to call attention to the force exerted by the Pope over Monophysitism.  Another symbol of this power is the sword cutting through the pennant labeled "Monophysitism."

The little box portrays the symbol of St. Matthew, i.e. a man.  It is particularly appropriate here since St. Matthew begins his Gospel with the human genealogy of Christ, "the son of David, the son of Abraham," recalling that the Emmanuel (God with us) had a perfect human nature.

Below the box are symbols of the three most important personages connected with the Council: the tiara and staff of Pope Leo the Great, the mitre of Bishop Flavian with a knife behind to signify that he died after being beaten at the "robber synod," and finally the crown of Marcian, the Emperor.