“The firm of Emil Frei, Inc., founded in St. Louis in 1898 and still operating today, has been one of the leading companies in the field of stained glass and mosaics in the United States. Founded by Bavarian-born artist, Emil Frei, Sr., (1869-1942), Emil Frei, Inc., has remained a traditional-style association of craftsmen and artists under the leadership of three generations of Freis, each of whom has made and overseen major artistic contributions to the field of stained glass and / or mosaic design, especially in the realm of the liturgical arts.The windows at Saint Francis Xavier Church at Saint Louis University are among the greatest of the works of Emil Frei Jr. The windows here have strong blue tones, inspired by the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres.
“Emil Frei, Sr., was born in Bavaria in 1869 and studied at the Munich Academy of art. Upon Completion of his studies he emigrated to New York to escape the universal military service then required in Germany. There he was joined by his fiance, Emma Mueller of Heidelberg, whom he soon married. Shortly thereafter the Freis moved to San Francisco, where Emil, Sr., worked as a mural painter. In 1898, Emil Frei was invited to come to St. Louis to undertake the design and execution of stained glass for a large new church then under construction. This project, the stained glass windows for the St. Frances Xavier (College) Church at 239 N. Grand, did not, however, come to fruition until a generation later when it was undertaken by Frei’s son and successor, Emil Frei, Jr.”
— from "EMIL FREI, JR., COLLECTION REGISTER" by Martha Ramsey; as quoted on the Emil Frei company website.
The windows have an exceptional amount of detail, and are worthy of a long catechesis and history lecture. The central figure is of Christ meeting the scribes and Pharisees.
Christ teaching. These windows are exceptionally beautiful, and yet are exceptionally difficult to photograph well, because of their fine detail and wide range of saturated colors.
The rose window above the choir loft has a saturated blue color, much darker than the other windows. This photo doesn't do the window justice. You have to visit yourself.
Christian society - Christocracy. The symbols of the Republic are surmounted by the monogram and crown of Christ the King.
Saint Francis Xavier has weekday confessions from 10:45 a.m. to noon. The day I went, two priests were hearing confessions; I would recommend going early, sometimes the lines are long.