Monthly Archives: September 2013

Basilica of Regina Pacis, Brooklyn, NY

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Arrrrrgh! This is horrible, Horrible, HORRIBLE!!! This coat of arms devised for the newly-designated Basilica Church of Regina Pacis in the Diocese of Brooklyn, NY is an excellent example of everything heraldry should NOT be. Do the “designers” (and I use the term loosely) of this monstrosity think that you simply take whatever images you want in whatever style you want and tack it to a shield and that’s called heraldry?

The only correct thing about this coat of arms is that basilica churches do, in fact, have the use of the ombrellino or pavilion and keys as external ornaments. Literally, everything else about it is horribly incorrect and completely lacking in imagination, creativity or even a passing knowledge of heraldic design.

The motto should not cross the shield but be depicted below it. Why is there a second scroll above the shield bearing only the name of the church? Is a coat of arms not identifying enough? The inclusion of the arms of the See of Brooklyn in its entirety is questionable but since it was done it would be good if part of it weren’t cut off! The pictorial images of Our Lady and of the church itself are wholly inappropriate and the whole is clearly a mish-mash of images cut and pasted together that don’t even match in style!

This is the worst kind of slap-dash, indifferent, ignorant heraldry that it sadly in use in far too many parts of the United States. IT STINKS!

An “Oldie” But a “Goodie” (amended)

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The coat of arms of the Most Reverend Hugh Charles Boyle, DD who served as the Sixth bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1921-1950. His arms are in the older style popular at that time and include the mitre and crozier as well as the episcopal cross (not to be confused with a processional cross) and galero. In 1969 Pope Paul VI’s instructions discontinued the use of the mitre and crozier in the coats of arms of people even though they are frequently used as external ornaments in the coats of arms of corporate bodies such as dioceses and abbeys.

The arms of the See of Pittsburgh were based on those of the city of Pittsburgh which, in turn were based on those of William Pitt. In the diocesan arms the bezants (gold roundels) have been changed to crosses and the inclusion of the sword alludes to the titular patron of the cathedral: St. Paul.

Very nice! Unfortunately, I cannot find a color image.

UPDATE: An intrepid reader informs me this is actually the arms of Bishop Regis Canevin, also of Pittsburgh.