This paper provides historical analysis of the 24 De La Salle windows in the Sanctuary of Saint John Baptist de La Salle in Rome, Italy. The author provides a narrative history of the window and examines their themes. In the 1930s, the Brothers of the Christian Schools built a chapel to house the relics of their Founder-Saint in Rome. The community subsequently renovated and expanded the sanctuary between 1947 and 1951. The windows emphasize dedication, sacrifice, and the Founder’s role as a Roman Catholic. Completed by 1951, they highlight pivotal moments in the life of the Saint, the Brothers’ Community, and De La Salle’s legacy as understood at that time. A few years later, the Brothers increased their work in the field of Lasallian studies. The windows set out an important core narrative just prior to growth of Lasallian studies and Vatican Council II.
Keywords: history, Lasallian, pilgrimage, art history, cult of the saints, Sanctuary of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Generalate, stained-glass windows, Brothers of the Christian Schools, Vatican Council II, Rome, Italy
Cremin, Dennis H.
Dennis H. Cremin, who is a professor of history at Lewis University, earned his doctoral degree from Loyola University Chicago. He teaches using place-based learning and has led students on travel study courses to Italy, France, and the Holy Land. His scholarship centers on urban history, the analysis of the built environment, and pilgrimage. He wrote Grant Park: The Evolution of Chicago’s Front Yard (2013), which won the Illinois State Historical Society’s Book of the Year Award. The Lasallian Region of North American (RELAN) awarded him the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award in 2015. As director of the Lewis University History Center, he manages the Adelmann Regional History Collection, which focuses on regional history along the Illinois and Michigan Canal. He has taken part in a number of Lasallian formation activities including the International Association of Lasallian Universities (IALU) Leadership Program in Rome, the International Session of Lasallian Studies (SIEL) in Rome, and the Lasallian Summer Seminar for Professors at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.