I noted with interest that the vestments worn by the bishops for the May 23 beatification ceremony for martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero were martyr’s red and emblazoned with the coat of arms of the slain archbishop. I’m not usually a big fan of heraldry on vestments but n this case I think it was a nice touch.
On May 5 the Most Rev. John Stowe, OFMConv was ordained and installed as the third bishop of Lexington, Kentucky. His coat of arms is:
The explanation of his personal arms and motto (from the diocesan website):
On the right side are the personal arms of Bishop John. These are composed of a white field on which is seen a red eagle, the symbol of Saint John, Bishop John’s baptismal and religious patron. Below the eagle is a black Tau cross, emblematic of Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of Bishop John’s religious order. The color black represents the dominant color of the Franciscan habit. Upon the tau is a green “Mary’s Key,” seen hanging from the belt of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Consolation, the national shrine of which Bishop John was rector.
For his motto, Bishop John has adopted the Latin phrase, “ANNUNTIAMUS VERBUM VITAE”, translated as, “We announce the Word of life.”
This coat of arms was designed for a man about to be ordained to the priesthood. He chose mostly red and gold to allude to the arms of Pope Benedict XVI who inspired him to pursue the priesthood. The Jerusalem cross is for his travels in the Holy Land and his care and concern for the Church in the Middle East. The escallop shell is from his family arms and also represents both baptism and pilgrimage. The chevron is a stylized carpenter’s square for St. Joseph, to whom there is a particular devotion, and is silver (white) to allude to Our Lady. The motto, from Psalm 104, says “Always Seek His Face”.
The Archbishop-Emeritus of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, died today in Chicago after a long, courageous and rather public struggle with cancer. Requiescat in Pace.