For the First Sunday After Epiphany the Book of Common Prayer’s Gospel reading is St. Luke’s childhood glimpse of Jesus at age 12, usually called “teaching the Doctors in the Temple.” I’ve posted a 12-minute Podcast Homily on the Podcast Homilies page at our Web Site, part of a series of homilies for Epiphany season.
This event has been depicted many times, but my favorites are two stained glass windows, both in the Munich Style. The first of these is at St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel, Richmond, VA, where my former parish, St. John Chrysostom Anglican, worshiped. The window was designed by Franz Mayer of Munich. It shows Jesus at the center of the image with the several “doctors,” meaning the wisest men among the Temple leadership, looking on. St. Mary and St. Joseph are the background figures. The window was installed in 1931 A.D. as part of a set of 46 windows. Teaching the Doctors in the Temple is one of ten Life of Christ windows in the upper wall of the Nave. All the windows in the Chapel are shown in the AIC Bookstore publication, Paintings on Light: the Stained Glass Windows of St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel.
The second window is also in the Munich Style and might have been a Mayer design or one by the associated firm of F. X. Zettler, founded by Mayer’s son-in-law. It is one of a pair of windows depicting scenes in the childhood of Jesus Christ. The other half of the scene is St. Joseph holding the baby Jesus.
This window is at the National Shrine of St. Francis Assisi in San Francisco. A smaller window than the one at St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel, there was room for only one “Doctor.” Note that the face of the column to the left of the 12-Year old Jesus bears an image representing the Commandmants. The location of the scene is indicated by the lighted Menorah and the scroll at Jesus’ feet. The source from which I purchased the picture did not identify the designer or show information about the windows. The twining bands of colored glass and the use of leaves with finely-detailed vine tracery are suggestive of the work of Franz Mayer.