DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY 2011
Very little was saved from the original Saint James Presbyterian Church in Tarzana from the great Northridge earthquake. But, to the San Fernando Valley's good fortune, many of the original windows of the sanctuary were rescued and used when the church was rebuilt.
The Apostle James, sometimes referred to Saint James the Greater possibly due to his height, was martyred. According to legend, his followers took his remains to Roman Spain (Iberia) where his burial site remains a major shrine for Roman Catholics and others such as the Anglican/Episcopal Churches. His statue on the ruined bell tower in Paris points the way for pilgrims to the shrine. Pilgrims who make the journey are rewarded with scallop shells, symbolized in Tarzana by the three shells to the right.photo by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum 2011
The saint depicted in this window may be either St. Mark the Evangelist or St. Bartholomew the
Apostle. The heart like medallion in the icon's hand appears to me to be a winged lion, definitely the sign of Mark (example: Saint Mark's basilica in Venice). But, Mark is almost always shown with an open book or writing instruments.
The Apostle Bartholomew, it is sometimes said, was selected to be among the twelve, after Judas Iscariot killed himself. The martyred saint was flayed, thus accounting for the knife symbol to the icon's right.
The letter T to the left is the Greek letter Tau. It was used very early in the Christian church as a symbol of the cross upon which Jesus was killed. It is still a popular symbol among Eastern Orthodox Christians, and may be a form of the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph Ankh, the key of life.