The palm is an ancient symbol of victory in war. It then became a symbol of Christ's victory over death. When Christ entered Jerusalem shortly before his Crucifixion, he came in triumph and his followers greeted him with palm branches. Later he was arrested and killed, but three days later he rose from the dead. Christ's Resurrection is the central belief of the Christian faith.
The stained glass panel shows a later use of the palm branch. St Stephen, on the right, was the first Christian martyr. He holds a palm branch to show that he died for his belief and triumphed over death.
- Stained glass with St Stephen on the right holding a palm branch
- Switzerland, 1624
- Museum no. C.47-1919
The next day the great body of pilgrims who had come to the festival, hearing that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, took palm branches and went out to meet him.