Most Rev. Wilton Gregory Translated to Washington

It was announced this morning that Pope Francis has appointed the Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta to be the next Archbishop of Washington, DC. Archbishop Gregory was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago originally and served as Auxiliary Bishop there before becoming the Bishop of Belleville, Illinois and eventually promoted to Archbishop of Atlanta. He also served at one time as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He will be installed in Washington, DC on May 21.

The coat of arms he has used since becoming a bishop 36 years ago will now be marshaled to those of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.

On a silver (white) field a cross composed of three colors; black on green on red. These colors are referred to as the African-American colors and by their use Archbishop Gregory honors the religious and racial heritage that has come to him from his parents, Wilton and Ethel ( Duncan ) Gregory. Within the quarters that are formed by the cross are a raven, to honor the Archbishop’s Benedictine education at Sant’ Anselmo (in Rome), and a black bear taken from the arms of His Eminence, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, His Excellency’s principal Episcopal consecrator. Also within the quarters are a red fleur-de-lis taken from the arms of the Mundelein Seminary in Chicago , where Archbishop Gregory was a student and faculty member, and a golden phoenix, coming forth from red flames, to honor Chicago , the city reborn after the famous Chicago fire.

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Most Rev. Robert Brennan of Columbus, OH

On Friday, March 29, 2019 the Most Rev. Robert Brennan, formerly Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, NY was installed as the twelfth Bishop of Columbus, Ohio. His personal arms now impaled with those of the See are described on the diocesan website.

The Brennan coat of arms comprises a white shield with a blue heraldic lion, and two red hands in the top corners of the shield. Rather than use the original design Bishop Brennan has chosen to retain the overall coloration and layout of his family coat of arms, while employing charges more evocative of his own life of faith. 

The main charge on the shield is the Cross, the foundation of the Christian faith. The arms of this particular Cross resemble a fleur-de-lis, a stylized lily often used as a symbol of the Virgin Mary.  

At the bottom of the cross appears a small white star, a symbol of Our Lady. Its position recalls the moment of the Commendation, when, “standing by the cross of Jesus” (John 19:25), Mary became, at her Son’s command, the Mother of all of his disciples (cf. John 19:27). The star has seven points, recalling the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. 

At the center of the cross appears a lamb’s head painted gold. The same charge figures prominently on the coat of arms of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which Bishop Brennan served as a priest and bishop for nearly 30 years. Saint Agnes is the patroness of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, and of its Cathedral church, where Bishop Brennan resided for 16 years. 

At the top of the shield are two scallop shells painted red. Although the charges are the same, they are used here to allude to two different saints: John the Baptist and James the Greater. Bishop Brennan attended Saint John the Baptist High School (West Islip) and Saint John’s University, and the patron of these schools is often depicted in sacred art using a shell to baptize the Lord Jesus. The date of Bishop Brennan’s ordination as a bishop — July 25, 2012 — is the feast of Saint James, the brother of Saint John the Evangelist and the first of the apostles to be martyred, during the persecution of the early Church (Acts 12:1-2). The red color of the shells recalls the fact that both of these saints gave their lives as martyrs for the faith. 

Heraldry of Heralds UPDATED

While it is not entirely unknown it is somewhat rare to find artistic depictions (i.e. “emblazonments”) of the personal coat of arms of a herald in some way marshaled with the heraldic devices or coat of arms associated with the heraldic office he holds.

It’s very common to see the arms of one of the English Kings of Arms, for example, or that of the Lord Lyon King of Arms. In addition, most heralds and pursuivants (Kings-of-Arms, Heralds and Pursuivants are collectively referred to as “heralds”, using the name of the so called middle rank) employ a heraldic badge to indicate their office. But, it is the somewhat rare occasion when such coats of arms or badges are displayed along with the individual heralds’ personal armorial bearings.

I happened to come across a very handsome one the other day causing me to begin searching the internet to find images of the personal arms of Garter Principal King of Arms, the officer of arms who is the most senior of the heralds in the English College of Arms, ranking immediately below the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk marshaled to those of the arms of office for Garter. I have, so far, only been able to find a few. I’ll begin with the current Garter King of Arms and work backwards. NOTE: all of the personal coat of arms of the men who served as Garter King of Arms are known. However, here I am referring to depictions where their personal arms are impaled with those of the office of Garter.

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Thomas Woodcock, 2010 – present

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Sir Peter Gwynn-Jones, 1995 – 2010

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Sir Conrad Swan, 1992-1995

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Sir Colin Cole, 1978 – 1992

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Sir Anthony Wagner, 1961 – 1978

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The Hon. Sir George Bellew, 1950 – 1961

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Sir Algar Howard, 1944 – 1950

(N.B.: according to the blazon of the arms there should be a crescent sable on the bend for difference.)

[Sir Gerald Wollaston, 1930 – 1944]

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Sir Henry Farnham Burke, 1919 – 1930

Sir Alfred Scott-Gatty, 1904 – 1918

Sir Albert Woods, 1869 – 1904

Sir Charles Young, 1842 – 1869

Sir William Woods, 1838 – 1842

[Sir Ralph Bigland, 1831 – 1838]

Sir George Nayler, 1822 – 1831

[Sir Isaac Heard, 1784 – 1822]

[Ralph Bigland, 1780 – 1784]

[Thomas Browne, 1744 – 1780]

[Sir Charles Townley, 1773 – 1774]

Stephen Martin Leake, 1754 – 1773

[John Anstis the younger, 1727 – 1754]

[John Anstis the elder, 1714 – 1744]

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Sir Henry St. George the younger, 1703 – 1715

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Sir Thomas St. George, 1686 – 1703

[Sir William Dugdale, 1677 – 1686]

[Sir Edward Bysshe, 1646 – 1660]

[Sir Edward Walker, 1645 – 1677]

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Sir Henry St. George the elder, April – November, 1644

Thus far back was I able to discover depictions of the personal arms of the various Garter Kings of Arms impaled with the arms of office. Of course the office is much older than 1644. The first garter King of Arms, William Bruges, was appointed in 1417! I have only listed the bracketed names and dates of the Kings of Arms for whom I could not find examples of their impaled arms to fill in gaps between those that I did find. But, I’ll keep looking!

UPDATE: I was able to add six more but there search continues!

Abbess Hildegard Dubnick, OSB of Eichstätt

919px-Wappen_Hildegard_Dubnick.svgOn January 4, 2019 the nuns of St. Walburga Abbey in Eichstätt, Bavaria elected Mother Hildegard Dubnick, OSB, (57) an American and a nun at their daughter foundation, St. Walburga Abbey in Virginia Dale, Colorado, to succeed Mother Franziska Kloos, OSB who had served as Abbess of Eichstätt for 34 years and retired from office on December 27, 2018. Abbess Hildegard received the abbatial blessing from Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke, OSB of Eichstätt on February 23, 2019.

An abbess in the Catholic Church makes use of some of the same pontifical insignia as an abbot. Abbesses wear the pectoral cross and ring and also carry a crozier. In addition, they usually have a personal coat of arms. The coat of arms assumed by Mother Hildegard is described in an article from the Eichstätt Courier as:

“Mutter Hildegards Wahlspruch aus Psalm 47 (47,10 Vulgata) “Suscepimus Misericordiam Tuam” lautet übersetzt: “Wir haben dein Erbarmen empfangen.” Der Spruch umfließt ein Wappen mit drei Eichen im Mittelpunkt, deren Stamm sich aus Wasser speist. Es nimmt in den Eichen Bezug auf den tschechischen Nachnamen Mutter Hildegards, der übersetzt “kleine Eiche” bedeutet, ebenso auf ihren Geburtsort Oak Park in Illinois (USA) und stellt letztlich eine schöne Verbindung zu ihrem neuen Wirkungsort Eichstätt dar. Die drei Wellen versinnbildlichen den im Wahlspruch erwähnten Strom des Erbarmens und der Gnade Gottes, das Ölfläschchen weist hin auf das Geschenk des Walburgisöls, das am Grab der heiligen Walburga fließt.” Translated that is:

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Mother Hildegard’s motto from Psalm 47 (47.10 Vulgata) “Suscepimus Misericordiam Tuam” translates: “We have received your mercy.” The saying is on a scroll around a coat of arms with three oaks in the center, whose trunk is fed from water. The oaks refer to the Czech surname of Mother Hildegard, which means “small oak tree”, as well as to her birthplace Oak Park in Illinois (USA) and ultimately represents a beautiful connection to her new place of Eichstätt. The three waves symbolize the the river of mercy and grace of God mentioned in the motto, the bottle of oil points to the gift of Walburgis oil that flows at the tomb of St. Walburga.

Ad Multos Annos, Mother Hildegard!

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Grand Master of the Teutonic Order

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In August of 2018 the Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden), a formerly medieval military order of chivalry which had, by the 20th Century, been transformed into a Religious Order, elected Fr. Frank Bayard, O.T. as its Grand Master. The Grand Master of the order has the rank of abbot. Fr. Bayard succeeds Fr. Bruno Platter who was elected as Grand Master of the Teutonic Order in 2000 and re-elected in 2006.

The coat of arms of the Grand Master is ensigned with the external ornaments of an abbot and the galero is black with cords and tassels that are white. deutscherordengm.jpg.w300h397By custom the mitre is also included in the achievement despite the 1969 Instruction from the Holy See stating otherwise. In addition, the secular sword is included which is tolerated given the order’s history as an order of chivalry prior to becoming a Religious Order within the Church. The arms of the Grand master traditionally follow a pattern which makes use of a basic shield depicting the arms of the order as used by the Grand Master which divides the field into four quarters by a sable cross charged with a gold cross fleuretty and an inescutcheon overall depicting Or, an imperial eagle Proper. In the first and fourth quarters the usual arms of the Order (Argent a cross throughout Sable) are placed. The personal arms of the individual Grand Master then occupy the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the shield.

In November, 2018 The Rt. Rev. Frank Bayard received the abbatial blessing from Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, O.P. of Vienna, where the headquarters of the Order is located. The arms assumed by Grand Master Bayard are:

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The coat of arms used by the previous two Grand Masters, Bruno Platter and Arnold Weiland followed the same pattern.

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Most Rev. John M. Smith, RIP

 

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On Jan. 22, 2019 of the Most Rev. John Mortimer Smith, Bishop Emeritus (2010-2019) and Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton (1997-2010), former Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton (1995-1997), former Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in Florida (1991-1995) and former Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark (1988-1991) passed into eternal life.  Bishop Smith died in Morris Hall Meadows, Lawrenceville, after a long illness. He was 83 years old.

His coat of arms (above) was assumed at the time he was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop in 1988. It is, in my opinion, a little too “busy” insofar as he tried to do too much. All those various charges represent different events/aspects of his priestly life and ministry, a kind of pictorial CV, which is precisely the type of thing I encourage new armigers to avoid all the time. It was particularly problematic and a little bit unattractive when it was marshaled to the arms of a See, such as Trenton, because all this was then squeezed into a narrow impalement (below). Perhaps, it would have been better to marshal the arms differently or to have simply borne his personal arms alone (something of which most American bishops cannot conceive because they think it isn’t permitted!)

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Aside from his less-than-wonderful coat of arms I met Bishop Smith on several occasions and found him to be a warm, outgoing and very kind man. He was very down-to-earth and easy to talk with. In the days when he was bishop of Trenton I hosted a 30-minute weekly radio program for my diocese and he told me on more than once occasion how he enjoyed listening to it in the car while driving to some event at which he was to preside. He was one of our biggest fans. May he rest in peace and receive the reward of his labors in the Lord’s vineyard.

(Artwork for both images by Deacon Paul Sullivan)

Conrad Swan, R.I.P.

swanSir Conrad Marshall John Fisher Swan KCVO FSA (born 13 May 1924) was a retired long-serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. Having been first appointed to work at the College in 1962, he rose to the office of Garter Principal King of Arms in 1992, a position he held until 1995. He was the first Canadian ever to be appointed to the College of Arms. He was first appointed Rouge Dragon Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary in 1962 and six years later became York Herald of Arms in Ordinary. In these capacities, he was among the Earl Marshal’s staff for the State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, the Investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969, and was Gentleman Usher-in-Waiting to Pope John Paul II during his visit to the United Kingdom in 1982.

Swan was appointed Garter Principal King of Arms in 1992 on the retirement of Sir Alexander Colin Cole. His own retirement came in 1995, after having been diagnosed with cancer.

Swan was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1994 as a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO). He is also a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Nation of Antigua and Barbuda (KGCN), Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Order of Malta, Cross of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, Knight’s Cross of the Order of the Grand Duke Gediminas (Lithuania), Knight Grand Cross of Justice of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Francis I (GCFO) and Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Lion of Rwanda.

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He was also a Knight of the Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem and Knight Principal of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor (1995–2000); Commander (with Star) of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit; Grand Cross with Grand Collar of the Imperial Order of the Holy Trinity (Ethiopia); Coronation Medal of the King of Tonga. He received the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan in 2005.

May he rest in peace.