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Pope Francis March 20, 2013

Coat of Arms selected for Pope Francis

Crests or coats-of-arms tell about the history of a place or a family. Learn about the Coat of Arms selected by Pope Francis, as well as the symbolism behind the Coat of Arms of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas and the bishops of Dallas.

Pope Francis has chosen the motto "Miserando atque eligendo", meaning lowly but chosen; literally in Latin 'by having mercy, by choosing him'.

The motto is one the Pope had already chosen as Bishop. It is taken from the homilies of the Venerable Bede on Saint Matthew's Gospel relating to his vocation:"Jesus saw the tax collector and by having mercy chose him as an Apostle saying to him : Follow me."

This homily, which focuses on divine mercy and is reproduced in the Liturgy of the Hours on the Feast of Saint Matthew, has taken on special significance in the Pope's life and spiritual journey.

In fact it was on the Feast of Saint Matthew in 1953 that a young seventeen year-old Jorge Bergoglio was touched by the mercy of God and felt the call to religious life in the footsteps of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

Beyond the motto, the coat of arms has a blue field and is surmounted by the mitre and the papal keys. On the crest itself at the centre is the symbol of the Jesuits, a flaming sun with the three letters recalling the name and the salvific mission of Jesus. Underneath we have two more symbols: to the right the star representing Mary and to the left the nard flower representing Joseph.

Coat of Arms of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas

CoatofArmsWeb.jpgCrests or coats-of-arms tell about the history of a place or a family, the crest of the Diocese of Dallas is no different. Through its imagery, the crest presents  a symbolic history of the Diocese of Dallas.

At the top of the crest is a bishop’s mitre, the tall hat worn by bishops that is a symbol of their office. Beneath that is a red shield with a number of objects.  Red is the color of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, patron of the diocese.  In the upper right hand corner are crossed swords, the symbol of St. Paul who died by the sword. It represents the mission at St. Paul, Texas in Collin County. St. Paul mission was the first Catholic Church in what is now the Diocese of Dallas. 

In the lower left corner is a star, it represents the Lone Star of Texas. Running diagonally is a wavy line with three blue fleurs-de-lis. The fleur-de-lis, or flower of life, is a symbol of the Holy Trinity and is also the national symbol of France. In the crest both symbols are meaningful. The wavy line represents the Trinity River, whose original name was Most Holy Trinity. Three fleurs-de-lis represent the Trinity. They also recall the French priests who first served the diocese.