Interior, Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church

Emil Boehl, Holy Trinity Church, Southwest Corner of Mallinckrodt and Seventeenth Streets, c. 1890, Missouri History Museum, N10714

We finally were given the opportunity to see the inside of Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, one of the oldest and most historic parishes in St. Louis. Its appearance has changed over the years, first due to the tornado that altered its exterior form from the original design above, and then later in the mid to late Twentieth Century with ecclesiastic reforms that changed the interior.

Our tour guide, Janice, explained that the church is based off the Cathedral of Regensburg, Germany, which I have visited back in 1998. The two churches do bear a passing resemblance. Most Holy Trinity has a clear apse and two transepts, but the altar has been moved up after the Second Vatican Council.

Above is the large painting of the almond-shaped mandorla surrounding the Crucified Christ is a later addition that actually covers a window

The soaring groin vaulting, typical of a Gothic Revival church, rise above a blind triforium. There are no clerestory windows but rather a row of rose windows in the nave, which is atypical. Usually, as seen here as well, those round stained glass windows only appear at the terminations of transepts and naves.

The rose windows are large, with what appear to be “rolled glass” in them, as opposed to highly customized stained glass.

Moving into one of the side aisles, we can examine a whole suite of Emil Frei & Associates stained glass windows, each with a depiction from the life of Christ with the patrons listed at the bottom.

The window below on the right was apparently commissioned during World War I when the German language parish wished to show its allegiance to America.

Stations of the Cross are interspersed in between the stained glass, with Christ ministering to the people below.

Below is a Crucifixion scene with Sts. Mary Magdalen, Mary and John the Evangelist. The narrative of the Stations of the Cross do not quite exactly match up with the window.

Every surface is carefully sculpted, and the paint scheme was probably once much more colorful.

Most Holy Trinity was the successor of many closed parishes, and below is a statue of St. Liborius, whose church was closed and subsumed into this one. You can see gallstones on his Bible.

This depiction of the God the Father, wearing a papal tiara, comforts the crucified Christ.

Sadly, the organ no longer works due to parts having gone missing.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bob S says:

    Great post, Chris! The Stations look similar to the ones at Francis de Sales. I’m surprised there’s so little color in the vaulting. I’d love to know what the window behind that altar painting is!

    1. cnaffziger says:

      Thank you! Concerning the vaulting, I’m sure it was originally much more brightly painted, and sadly it was covered up sometime in the 20th Century.

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