This stained glass scene is of the death of Joseph in Egypt, surrounded by his eleven brothers. Joseph had led a successful life there with his family, after arriving as a slave many years earlier. Now on his deathbed, he had some last instructions for them.
Joseph told his brothers (as per the Latin scroll featured): post mortem meam Deum visitabit vos – God will visit you after my death. He foresaw the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and asked that when this took place, his mortal remains were to go too. (cf Hebrews 11:22)
The window dates to the late 1890s and is by Lavers & Westlake. It’s found in a side chapel behind the chancel that includes other scenes from the life of Joseph, as well as scenes from the life of St Joseph, the foster father of Christ. The general theme of the chapel is ‘leaving Egypt’, contrasting the Exodus with the later ‘Flight from Egypt’ of St Joseph, the Virgin Mary and the infant Christ (Matthew 2:19-23).
See the full image:
Where to find this work of art
Sacred Heart, Wimbledon
Read the relevant passage
On a similar theme
- From the Old Testament: During the Crossing of the Red Sea, the Israelites took the bones of Joseph with them, as he requested. He was then reburied in the Promised Land.
- From the New Testament: As a chapel dedicated to St Joseph, this story is linked with the later Exodus of St Joseph from Egypt to his homeland.