Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Immaculate Heart is often venerated together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Just as the Sacred Heart represents Christ’s love for mankind, the Immaculate Heart represents the Blessed Virgin’s desire to lead all people to Christ.
When the our diocese was formed it was dedicated to the patronage of The Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Pius X and a Diocese of Atlanta Window was created. This window, located in the parish lobby, commemorates the creation of Diocese of Atlanta. Established in 1956 when the northern 71 counties of Georgia were separated from the Diocese of Savannah, the Atlanta Diocese was dedicated to the dual Patronage of Saint Pius X and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and was placed in the care of Bishop Francis E. Hyland.
In the uppermost image of the window, we find the coat of arms of patron Pope Pius X, whose papacy was from 1903-1914, and whose canonization occurred shortly before the establishment of the Diocese of Atlanta. The Papal shield, Papal tiara, and keys are present, symbolizing the authority of the Holy See. The winged lion of Saint Mark the Evangelist supports the shield. Inside, the superior image shows the arms of the Patriarch of Venice, a position Bishop Sarto held from 1893-1903, before his elevation to the Papacy. Below, we find the arms of the Bishop of Mantua, another post held by Bishop Sarto.
The center image of the window is a beautiful rendition of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, patroness of the Diocese. Pierced by the sword of suffering and draped in a regal garland of red roses, the Immaculate Heart is on fire with love for the Father and the Son. Springing from the heart is a sprig of Annunciation lilies, calling to mind the purity of Mary, and her graceful acceptance of God’s will.
Below the symbols of the dual patrons, we find the coat of arms of Bishop Francis E. Hyland, Atlanta’s Bishop from 1956-1961. The left side of his shield shows the newly created coat of arms of the Diocese. A Cherokee Rose (the state flower of Georgia) and a crown symbolize that Christ the King is the seat, or cathedra, of the Bishop’s teaching and authority. The right side of the shield bears Bishop Hyland’s personal arms. Beneath all, the scroll reads, “Ad Jesum Per Mariam,” translated: “To Jesus through Mary.”
We hope you enjoy this beautiful window.
Yours in Christ,
Monsignor Frank McNamee, Rector