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Skip Navigation LinksADLA > Auxiliary Bishops > Bishop Joseph V. Brennan > Bishop Brennan - Coat of Arms

 Bishop Brennan - Coat of Arms


The top portion of the shield is known properly as the chief. On Bishop Brennan’s shield the chief appears like a bar of blue across the top of a fuller shield below. The charge (emblem) is a combination of the Fleur de Lys for the Blessed Virgin Mary and a pair of angel’s wings on a blue chief; blue being the color reserved for Our Lady and also the color of the Pacific Ocean that forms one of the borders of the church and region. The Fleur de Lys is rendered in gold. The wings are silver (which is always rendered as white in heraldry as real silver tarnishes). Gold and silver are the Divine Attributes, perfect and pure in every way.
 
The bottom portion of the design is divided by a field known as a per chevron division, the base of the shield protruding to the top in a mountain-like manner. Inside this chevron are found a field of eight wavy lines of alternating colors which are symbolic of two things, the waters of baptism and the Pacific Ocean. The remainder of the field of the shield is worked in silver (white). Silver represents the purity of God and the efficacy of the sacraments of the Church. Upon this simple field are two red roses, the Roses of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
 
The Motto is found on the banderole (motto ribbon) in four simple yet powerful words: CARITAS CHRISTI URGET NOS, which translates generally into English as…. “for the love of Christ compels us,” found in Saint Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
 
Surmounting the shield of a bishop is the pilgrim's hat, the heraldic emblem for all prelates and priests of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. Behind Bishop Brennan’s coat of arms is found the episcopal cross. It is the Celtic Cross, recalling his Irish heritage. Within the cross proper are found ancient Celtic knot designs specific to the early foundations of Christianity in Ireland. At the center is found a faceted emerald stone in homage to the bishop’s origins.
 
Overall, Bishop Brennan’s coat of arms has remained faithful to the style of Church heraldry originally developed in the Middle Ages.

Click here for a detailed explanation of the coat of arms.
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