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Coat of Arms is a reflection of a bishop and his diocese

Archbishop Rozanski’s personal arms include recognition of Polish heritage, service to the Archdiocese of Baltimore

Archbishop Rozanski's episcopal cre

Click here for a pdf graphic of Archbishop Rozanki's coat of arms and explanation.

When an archbishop is appointed to lead an archdiocese, the coat of arms is composed of several key elements. The episcopal heraldic achievement, or, as it is more commonly known, the archbishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield with its charges (symbols) 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, and this description is done as if being given by the bearer with the shield being worn on the arm. From the viewpoint of the one behind the armor, the sides or impalements of the shield are labeled dexter (right) and sinister (left). The next element of the coat of arms is the archbishop’s motto, which is traditionally written.

The great seal of the Archdiocese of St. Louis (left side) is an azure, blue, field with a gold crusader’s cross, and a crown representing St. Louis IX, King of France, patron of both the Archdiocese of St. Louis and City of St. Louis. On the extremes of the cross are found the fleur-de-lis flower that recalls the French foundation of the city.

For his personal arms, Archbishop Rozanski has selected a design that is based on two major themes; his Polish heritage and his service to the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In the upper portion of the design, in red and silver (white), the colors of the Polish national flag, are a cross bottony (each arm terminates in a triple ball), which represented in red on silver, is a variant on the symbolism known as a “cross of St. Michael,” the archbishop’s baptismal patron. To the right of the cross (chief dexter) is a silver rose on a red field, drawing upon the significance that Archbishop Rozanski’s family name refers to “Rose flower” in Polish.

In base, on the alternating vertical bars of black and gold (yellow) with a red diagonal bar called a “bend,” is an open book of the Most Holy Scriptures. These charges, drawn from the arms of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, signify that His Excellency’s ministry as a deacon, priest, and now as an archbishop is to spread God’s Holy Word to the faithful of the archdiocese. This symbolism joins well with the archbishop’s motto, which is taken from Psalm 100, that in all that Archbishop Rozanski is to do for the Lord, he is called to “Serve the Lord With Gladness.”

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 10 tassels, in four rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of archbishop by instruction of the Holy See of March 31, 1969.

From the Archive Module

Coat of Arms is a reflection of a bishop and his diocese 5647

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