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Read the daily quote from Pope Francis


Nave Window 7

The Sixteenth Ecumenical Council was held at Constance in 1414.  In the latter half of the fourteenth century the Great Western Schism had broken upon the Christian world.  In the early fifteenth century there were three claimants to the papacy, and most Christians were confused as to who was the rightful Pope.  The matter was settled by this Council, which became ecumenical when approved by Pope Benedict XII.

The design here shows three mitres, representing the three claimants to the Papacy.  The three swords are meant to portray the difficulties they caused before resigning. The mitres are placed in waves of water, because after the violent tempest aroused in the church by the schism, the popes are as it were drowned in this violence.  The Church, the boat in the design, appears after the storm more glorious and stronger than ever and undergoes a radical reformation under the one universal shepherd elected at this Council, Pope Martin V (tiara at top.)  The brilliant sunrise represents the triumph and renovation of the Church.

At the bottom of the window is a fire and stake, symbolizing the extermination by this Council of the heresies of John Huss and John Wycliff.  

The unity of the Church remained unimpaired, but was saved, as it were, by this Council.  Hence the "Unus Dominus; una fides" (one Lord; one faith.)