Thursday, March 21, 2013
New Papal Motto & Coat of Arms
His Holiness, Pope Francis.
This last week we had official notification of the motto, coat of arms, and fisherman's ring of the new Supreme Roman Pontiff, Pope Francis.
The motto is that of his time as a bishop: Miserando atque eligendo. Many sources translate this as "lowly but chosen," but the great Fr. John Zuhlsdorf renders more accurately: "By showing compassion and by choosing."
For an explanation of the motto, you should visit his wondeful blog:
The coat of arms of Pope Francis.
The coat of arms of Pope Francis is an adaptation, once again, of that used during his time as Bishop. He has simply replaced the cardinal's supporters with those of a Supreme Roman Pontiff, with the Keys of St. Peter.
The blue background recalls the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, as the star also calls to mind. The "grapes" are actually nard flowers, which are a symbol of St. Joseph. Finally, the sunburst, a Jesuit symbol, contains the IHS of Jesus Christ, along with the nails of His passion -- thus recalling both the Society of Jesus, and, of course, Our Divine Lord.
Here is the Vatican Press Office article on the same:
Each pontiff has a particular ring of office -- the fisherman's ring -- which is defaced upon his death or abdication. Holy Father Francis has received a ring that once belong to Pope Paul VI to be his fisherman's ring. For more on that, you should read the Vatican Press Office account here:
As a side note, it seems the last pope to bear a name unused by a predecessor was Pope Lando from the 10th century. Here's hoping for Pope Lando II!
Finally, a couple of useful sources on general papal details:
From the Washington Post, a graphic showing which Popes have been members of religious orders:
From the Telegraph, an interactive program listing all of the popes of history: