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 Coat of Arms

 
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 is the central and most important feature of any heraldic device.

The arms of Bishop Solis are composed of three sections. In the upper left section is a silver (white) field that is charged with a blue Jerusalem cross. The four Greek crosses surrounding the joined Tau cross are associated with the mission of the church (and the four Gospel books) to the four corners of the world. It likewise represents the ministry of the new bishop to bring the good news of salvation to people of all cultures. The blue Jerusalem cross also appears in the official Diocesan vestment of the bishop's home Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, in Louisiana.

On a blue field to the right is a garb of rice, with silver stalks and golden seeds. Representing his home province of Nueva Ecija, the "rice granary of the Philippines," rice is also the Asian equivalent of "wheat," a common food to many including the State of Louisiana. Like wheat, rice can be transformed to many uses. The symbol reminds us that like rice (or wheat), we are called to be transformed (to die within) to whatever God can use us for the building up of His Kingdom. In the words of Jesus, "unless a grain of wheat (rice) falls to the ground and dies, it does not bear fruit" (John 12:24).

The base of the shield bears a golden sunburst on a red background. Representing the origin of the bishop's family name from Latin: "Sol" the center of our universe, it also refers to the SON, the center of our lives whose blood freed and saved us. At the center of the sun is an eight-pointed blue star representing the Blessed Virgin Mary in her title, "Stella Maris" (Star of the Sea). Our Lady, Star of the Sea, is the patroness of the seafaring people of Asia and the inhabitants of Louisiana whose lives and livelihood depend on the waters of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Having his first and last parish on the bayou communities of Lafourche (Golden Meadow and Thibodaux), the bishop has been invoking the guidance of the Our Lady, Star of the Sea, on his pastoral ministry.

For his motto, the bishop adopted the Latin phrase "FIAT VOLUNTAS TUA," from the Lord's Prayer "Your will be done" (Matthew 6: 10). The phrase, which echoes the Virgin Mary's "yes" (Latin: "fiat," let it be done) at the Annunciation (Luke 1:38), expresses one's openness and willingness to cooperate in the saving plan of God which we all are called to do. In adopting this motto, the bishop expresses his total surrender and complete trust to the will of God. And like the Virgin Mary, to say "yes" to God's salvific work in the world.

The device is completed with the external ornaments which are a 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.

 

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