The coat of arms of an archbishop consist of the shield placed upon the archiepiscopal cross. This cross, used only by an archbishop, has a smaller bar above the cross bar which supports the crucified Christ. The origin of this smaller bar lies in the representation of the small plaque, on which was written the inscription I.N.R.I. for Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews). The use of this type of cross as the insignia of the metropolitan archbishop dates back to 1232 under Pope Gregory IX. This cross is the primary symbol of the rank of archbishop.
This shield is divided in two in a heraldic device called marshalling. The joining of the arms of the Archdiocese with the personal arms of Archbishop Gómez signifies the spiritual union of a Bishop with his see.
On the left side is the arms of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles: It contains three sets of angel wings, each guarding a golden rose. The golden rose symbolizes our Blessed Mother, as the Mystical Rose, Queen of Angels. The angels' wings represent the city of Our Lady of the Angels.
The right side of the shield contains Archbishop Gómez's personal arms: Argent, issuant from base a mountain Vert with a sun issuant Gules; to chief dexter a rose blossom in profile of the third, stemmed and leafed of the second and to chief sinister a star Azure.
The Episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, with its charges (symbols), a motto scroll and the external ornaments. The shield, which is the central and most important feature of any heraldic device, is described (blazoned) in 12th century terms that are archaic to our modern language. This description is done as if being given by the bearer with the shield being worn on the arm. Thus it must be remembered, where it applies, that the terms dexter and sinister are reversed as the device is viewed from the front.
For his personal arms, His Excellency has adopted a design that reflects his heritage and his life as a priest and now as a bishop. The Bishop’s design is based on the arms of his home, the City of Monterrey, in Mexico. It is composed of a silver (white) field, which depicts the mountains outside of the city with its peaks that resemble a "saddle", issuant from the base. Issuant from the mountains, as in the city arms, is a red sunburst.
To "difference" the arms of the City of Monterrey for his personal use, Bishop Gomez has incorporated two additional symbols of significance to him. In the upper left (chief dexter) is a red rosebud with its green stem and leaves. The rose is a traditional symbol of Our Lady of Guadalupe who gave roses to Saint Juan Diego as a sign of her appearance to him. The rose is also associated with events in the life of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, Founder of Opus Dei. Bishop Gomez was carrying out his priestly ministry for Opus Dei in Texas when he was named to be Auxiliary of Denver.
The blue star that is opposite the rose is used to signify that Our Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been designated as the Star of the New Evangelization at the beginning of the third millennium. For his motto, His Excellency, Bishop Gomez has adopted the phrase "ADEAMUS CUM FIDUCIA AD THRONUM GRATIAE." This phrase from the Letter to the Hebrews (Heb. 4:16), translated as "let us go forth with confidence to the Throne of Grace", expresses the Christian belief that all mankind is called to salvation in Christ Jesus. Through the salvation worked by Christ, the compassionate Priest and intercessor, God’s throne has become the judgment seat from which mercy flows.
The device is completed with the external ornaments which are a gold processional cross, which is placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a "gallero," with its six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of The Holy See of March 31, 1969.