Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Photos of Saint Mary Magdalen Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Mary Magdalen Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri. The parish is located about seven road miles southwest of downtown Saint Louis.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA  - exterior.jpg

The parish dates from 1919, a building for its school was purchased in 1920, and its first church, a temporary wood frame structure, was built in 1921. Construction of this Art Deco style church started in December, 1939.

The church is in the Southampton neighborhood, near the southwestern edge of the City. It was developed in the early 20th century by an Englishman who gave the area its distinctive British street names, while it was settled by German immigrants. The area now has many immigrants from Bosnia, as well as trendy urban hipsters.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - nave.jpg

The church's modern interior, with the baptismal font seen here in front.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - crucifix.jpg

Crucifix over the altar.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - altar detail.jpg

As seen in this altar detail, the supports (stipes) for the table (mensa) have carved symbols of the Evangelists.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - tabernacle.jpg

Tabernacle, located to the left of the altar.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - icons.jpg

On the left is a copy of the Theotokos of Vladimir — an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Christ Child — famously used in Russia for the consecration of patriarchs and tsars.

Can anyone identify the icon on the right?

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - processional crucifix.jpg

Processional crucifix.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - ambry.jpg

Near the front entrance is this ambry, with holy oils.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Station of the Cross.jpg

Station of the Cross.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA  - column capital.jpg

Art Deco column capital.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - pipe organ.jpg

Pipe organ and choir loft.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA  - door.jpg

Exterior door. The symbol over the door seems to represent the Washing of the Feet (John 13:5); but what is the meaning of the potted plant under the foot?

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - window.jpg

One of the stained glass windows, as viewed from the exterior, shows a lamp and a quill.

The window appears a bit fuzzy because it is covered by a thick plastic cover. Back in the early 1970s, there was an unfortunate trend of drugged-out youths smashing or shooting at stained glass windows, and very many churches subsequently covered them over with tough plastic. Because of this vandalism, many Catholic churches locked their doors — instead of remaining always open for Eucharistic adoration and other prayer. Slowly, churches are now opening up again.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior 2.jpg

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA  - exterior 3.jpg

The trees are blurry because it was quite windy that night. This photo, as well as the previous one, is sepia-toned, because the city-owned yellow sodium vapor streetlights that illumine this side of the church do not provide a full color spectrum. Sepia looks better than ill-looking yellow-green.

Saint Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - inscription.jpg

TO THE HONOR
OF GOD
AND THE MAGDALEN

Address:
4924 Bancroft Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63109

7 comments:

  1. I would guess that the icon to the right is the slaughter of the innocents by Herod and the Holy Family's flight into Egypt, but I can't be sure since I can't see the the Greek lettering clearly enough to read it.

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  2. Kim,

    You are right. I looked at the original photo (which has more detail), and it is pretty clear that it is the Slaughter of the Innocents and the Flight Into Egypt.

    As far as I can tell, the Greek letters are:

    Eta

    Beta
    Rho or Digamma
    Sigma (looks like a 'C')
    Phi
    Omicron or Pi
    Kappa
    Tau
    Omicron or Pi
    Mu
    Iota
    Alpha

    Brsphoktomia?

    My only knowledge of Greek is from the use of Greek letters in mathematics. I've noticed that some of the letters are drawn differently in liturgical Greek.

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  3. Mark,

    The Eta simply means "the." Brefo (Beta+rho+epsilon+phi+omega) means "infant." As for the "ktomia" part, I'm almost sure that it means "slaughter," but I can't derive it from any of the Greek verbs I know that denote killing or murder. When I go back to the seminary in January I will look up a lexicon, so as to get beyond the limitations of my meagre vocabulary (learnt in a semester of New Testament Greek).

    In any case, thank you for your wonderful blog. I have become fascinated by St Louis and I hope to visit your city some day.

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  4. Ah, so that is an epsilon, makes sense. The word was missing a vowel.

    Thank you for your compliment. Beware of visiting Saint Louis, though -- many come to visit and find out that they don't want to leave!

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  5. I'm not sure if the Greek etymology is of any further interest to you, but just in case: I found out today that "vrefoktonia" is the Modern Greek word for "infanticide" (Beta is pronounced as a "v" sound). It seems possible that this is also word that liturgical Greek uses for the Slaughter of the Innocents. So, if the word is "brephoktonia" with a Nu rather than a Mu, then we have "ktonia" from the verb "kteino" (Kappa+tau+epsilon+iota+nu+omega) which means "I kill" or "I destroy."
    - Kim

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  6. I enjoy learning about language. The mu possibly could be a nu.

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  7. I think the symbol above the door is from when Mary Magdalen washed Jesus' feet with her hair and anointed them with oil/perfume.

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