The pope's coat-of-arms and motto

The pope's coat-of-arms and motto

                Pope Francis has chosen his papal coat-of-arms

Pope Francis has decided to keep his relatively simple bishop's coat-of-arms, combining it with traditional papal symbols.

It features the Jesuit emblem and seal (the Greek letters IHS for the name of Jesus, the cross and nails surrounded by a sunburst.) Below are a star on the left, a symbol of Mary, and an image of nard flowers, a symbol of St. Joseph (I know they look like grapes, but they're flowers.)

Framing the coat-of-arms are the papal miter and silver and gold keys, linked by a red cord.

The pope's Latin motto "miserando atque eligendo," recalls a passage from a homily of St. Bede, describing how Jesus chose St. Matthew as his disciple: "He saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him."

St. Bede's point was that Jesus chose Matthew not in the usual sense, but with a merciful understanding -- something the new pope has already made a theme of his pontificate.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. David wrote:
And notice the sunburst is from the Argentinian flag.

Mon, March 18, 2013 @ 9:33 AM

2. Sean Leader wrote:
Hey, John

Both the VISen bulletin and the Wikipedia page (with then Cardinal Bergoglio's coat of arms show the star and flower as coloured white, not the gold shown here.

Blue and white either side of a dazzling sun also indicates the Argentinean heritage of the then Auxiliary Bishop and Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Sure someone hasn't made a colouring in error here?

Mon, March 18, 2013 @ 11:43 PM

3. Fred wrote:
I would like to suggest that a better translation for the new pope's motto is "by showing mercy and by making choices." It is a literal translation of the two Latin gerunds which are words of action. I believe it is Francis' intention to indicate the modus operandi that will characterize his actions as pope: showing mercy first and then making decisions inspired by that mercy.

Tue, March 19, 2013 @ 10:28 AM

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