Saint Vincent de Paul

 The Grand Reredos and Sanctuary

The crowning element in the church is the grand-reredos which forms the background for the altar.  The four-story reredos is carved, gilded, and polychromed after the sumptuous churrigueresque fashion.  The side altars, choir, baptistry, and Agony Chapel, are the work of Angelo Lualdi of Boston, MA.

The base of the reredos is comprised of a row of saints.  From left to right they are St. Edward, Blessed John Gabriel Perboyre (A Vincentian priest martyred in China), St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, Blessed Francis Regis Clet (another Vincentian priest martyred in China) and St. Paul of the Cross. 

The carving St. Edward was fashioned on the likeness of Edward Doheny, patron of the church.  He holds a miniature of St. Vincent’s Church in his hand.

The principal panels in the center story depict the crucifixion, with our Blessed Mother, St. John, and St. Mary Magdalene.  The group on the left is of the four great Greek Fathers:  St. Athanasius, in the center, with St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory Nazianzus, and St. John Chrysostom.  The panel on the right depicts the four great Latin Fathers:  The leading figure is that of St. Augustine, with St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, and St. Gregory the Great. 

Statues of the four evangelists adorn the third story at the top of the four supporting columns of the reredos. 

The third story is adorned with statues of the Archangels and symbols of the Evangelists.  In the order of left to right: Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel. 

The four columns supporting the reredos contain the twelve apostles as follows, beginning at the base on the left and reading upward on each column:  Peter, Bartholomew, John, Philip, Thomas, Matthew, James the Greater, Andrew, Paul, James the Lesser, Thaddeus.  Each, except John, holds the instrument of his martyrdom.  Each column is surmounted with the symbols of the Evangelists:  Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. 

Crowning the whole composition is a Majestas representing the Holy Trinity, while over this, at the very top is the symbol of the host.  Various cherubs and angels adorn the composition. 

The Choir
The screens separating the sanctuary from the ambulatories are in the form of an arcade with a cornice projecting like a canopy, crowned with a cresting of angel figures.  

The arcading, in the bays nearest to the High Altar, is filled with carved panels- scenes from the life of Jesus.  Beginning on the gospel side of the sanctuary the panels are:

  Large Panels
    The Nativity
    Flight into Egypt
    Child Jesus in the Temple
    Baptism of Jesus
    The temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness

  Smaller Panels Below
    Adoration of the Magi
    Herod and the Holy Innocents
    Driving Out the Money Changers
    Jesus and St. John the Baptist
    Jesus being attended to by Angels

On the epistle side, reading toward the altar, the panels are:

  Large Panels
    Sermon on the Mount
    Entry into Jerusalem
    Christ before Pilate
    Journey to Emmaus
    The Ascension

  Smaller Panels below
    Christ and the children
    Zacchaeus in the Tree
    Crowning with Thorns
    Doubting Thomas
    Charge to Peter 

Exploring the Sacred

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Beholding the Sacred

The Grand Reredos and Sanctuary