Skip to comments.Pope Drops Papal Crown From Coat of Arms, Adds Miter, Pallium (Not Exactly)
Posted on 04/27/2005 6:55:32 PM PDT by Pyro7480
Pope Drops Papal Crown From Coat of Arms, Adds Miter, Pallium
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The papal crown has been given the boot once again, this time no longer appearing as part of the new pope's coat of arms.
Pope Benedict XVI has dispensed with the image of the three-tiered tiara that traditionally appeared at the top of each pope's coat of arms and replaced it with the pointed miter.
The pope also has added the pallium, the woolen stole symbolizing a bishop's authority, to the elements surrounding the shield.
The details of the new papal blazon were published in the April 28 edition of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. A copy was released April 27 to journalists.
"Benedict XVI has chosen a coat of arms that is rich in symbolism and meaning, so as to put his personality and his papacy in the hands of history," said Italian Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, an expert on heraldry and creator of Benedict XVI's new insignia.
"For at least the past eight centuries, popes have had their own personal coats of arms in addition to the symbols of the Apostolic See," the archbishop said in the Vatican newspaper.
While each papal shield is unique, the elements surrounding it had more or less remained the same for centuries -- until now.
Gone is the beehive-shaped crown whose actual use in important ceremonies was abandoned during the papacy of Paul VI. For Pope Benedict's ensign, the more modest and recognizable miter has taken its place.
But the silver miter has three gold stripes to mirror the symbolism of the papal tiara's three tiers: "order, jurisdiction and magisterum," said Archbishop Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, who had served as an apostolic nuncio for more than 20 years.
A vertical gold band connects the three stripes in the middle "to indicate their unity in the same person," he said.
Another novelty is the addition of the white pallium with black crosses draped below the shield.
"It indicates the (bishop's) role of being pastor of the flock entrusted to him by Christ," wrote Archbishop Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo.
What has not changed and has been part of papal emblems for centuries is the Holy See's insignia of two crossed keys, which symbolize the powers Christ gave to the Apostle Peter and his successors. The gold key on the right represents the power in heaven and the silver key on the left indicates the spiritual authority of the papacy on earth. The cord that unites the two keys alludes to the bond between the two powers.
Nestled on top of the keys lies the unique shield of Pope Benedict, which is based on his coat of arms as archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, and is particularly rich in personal and spiritual symbolism, wrote Archbishop Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo.
The shield is divided into three sections -- each of which has its own symbol.
The central element on a red background is a large gold shell that has theological and spiritual significance for the pope, the archbishop said. The shell recalls a legend in which St. Augustine came across a boy on the seashore who was scooping water from the sea and pouring it into a small hole he had dug in the sand.
When the saint pondered this seemingly futile activity, it struck him as analogous to limited human minds trying to understand the infinite mystery of the divine.
"The shell reminds me of my great master Augustine, of my theological work, and of the vastness of the mystery which surpasses all our learning," wrote then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in his 1997 autobiography "Milestones, Memoirs: 1927-1977."
Also, Archbishop Cordero di Montezemolo wrote that the shell has long symbolized the pilgrim, "a symbolism Benedict XVI wants to keep alive" after Pope John Paul II, "the great pilgrim."
The shell is also present in the coat of arms of the Schotten monastery in Regensburg, Germany, to which the pope "feels very spiritually close," the archbishop said.
The upper left-hand section of the shield depicts a brown-faced Moor with red lips, crown and collar; it is a symbol of the former Diocese of Freising dating back to the eighth century.
Though it is not known why the Moor came to represent Freising, the pope said for him "it is an expression of the universality of the church which knows no distinctions of race or class since all are one in Christ," he said in his book, "Milestones."
Finally, a brown bear loaded with a pack on his back lumbers up the upper right-hand section of the shield.
The bear is tied to an old Bavarian legend about the first bishop and patron saint of the Diocese of Freising, St. Corbinian. According to the legend, when the saint was on his way to Rome, a bear attacked and killed his horse. St. Corbinian punished the bear by making him carry the saint's belongings the rest of the way to Rome.
Archbishop Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo said the bear symbolizes the beast "tamed by the grace of God," and the pack he is carrying symbolizes "the weight of the episcopate."
The pope said in his 1997 autobiography: "Meanwhile, I have carried my pack to Rome and wander for some time now through the streets of the Eternal City. When release will come I cannot know. What I do know is that I am God's pack animal, and, as such, close to him."
The blog The Commonplace Book of Zadok the Roman affirms the above point: Note first the crest - a slightly abstract design which appears to be a mitre, but on comparison with other Papal arms the lines on the mitre very closely resemble the shape of the tiara.
The bear and the scallop-shell-- a unique papal coat of arms
Vatican, Apr. 27 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI has included his old Bavarian homeland in the papal coat of arms.
All of the elements in the episcopal coat of arms that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (bio - news) bore as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and then as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have become part of his papal coat of arms as well.
The coat of arms appeared for the first time in an official commemorative picture that was published by the Vatican on the occasion of the installation of the new Pope; the heraldic insignia are presented there in an outline sketch, however, and not in full color.
The Archdiocese of Munich enumerates the elements on the coat of arms in an article posted at its website.
The shield, which is divided into three sections, displays the Moor of Freising." The Moors head, facing left and typically crowned, appeared on the coat of arms of the old principality of Freising as early as 1316, during the reign of the Bishop of Freising, Prince Konrad III, and it remained almost unchanged until the secularization of the Churchs estates in that region in 1802-1803. Even after that time all the archbishops of Munich and Freising have included the Caput Aethiopum, the head of an Ethiopian, in their episcopal coat of arms.
An especially distinctive element in the new papal coat of arms is a bear with a pack-saddle, the so-called Bear of Corbinian." There is a charming legend involving a bear that is told about Bishop Corbinian, who preached the Christian faith in the ancient Duchy of Bavaria in the 8th century and is honored as the spiritual father and patron of the archdiocese. It is said that while he was traveling to Rome a bear mauled his pack-animal. The saint then rebuked the wild beast, and commanded the bear to carry his packs to Rome. Once he arrived there, however, he let the bear go, and it lumbered back to its native forest. The meaning of the legend is clear: Christianity tamed and domesticated the ferocity of paganism and thus laid the foundations for a great civilization in the Duchy of Bavaria. At the same time, Corbinians Bear, as Gods beast of burden, symbolizes the burden of office. In the coat of arms of Benedict XVI, the Bear of Corbinian has now taken up permanent residence in Rome.
The third element, the shell, has several symbolic meanings. First it refers to a famous legend about St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (354-430 AD). Once as he was walking along the seashore, meditating about the unfathomable mystery of the Holy Trinity, he met a boy who was using a shell to pour seawater into a little hole. When Augustine asked him what he was doing, he received the reply, I am emptying the sea into this hole. Thus the shell is a symbol for plunging into the unfathomable sea of the Godhead. It also has a connection, though, with the theologian Joseph Ratzinger and the beginning of his academic career. In 1953 he received a doctorate in theology under Professor Gottlieb Söhngen at the University of Munich by completing a dissertation on The People of God and the House of God in Augustines Teaching about the Church."
Furthermore, the shell also stands for Jacobs staff, a pilgrims staff topped with a scallop shell, which in Church art was the symbol of the apostle James (in Latin, Jacobus). In this sense, the symbol alludes to a central concept of the Second Vatican Council, the pilgrim people of God, which the theologian shepherded locally as Archbishop Ratzinger and of which he is now, as Benedict XVI, the universal shepherd. When he became an archbishop he deliberately incorporated this symbol also in his coat of arms as Jacobs staff. It was found in the heraldic insignia of the Schottenkloster in Regensburg, an ancient monastery founded by Irish monks, where the major seminary of that diocese is now located. Thus it also recalls a place where the Pope once lived and worked as a professor of theology. From 1969 until his appointment as Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977 he taught dogmatic theology and the history of doctrine at the University of Regensburg.
As his episcopal motto, Cardinal Ratzinger had again shown his background as a theologian, choosing the phrase "cooperators veritatis "-- collaborators of the truth. The Vatican has not yet disclosed whether Benedict XVI will use the same phrase as his papal motto.
Interesting! That one has the tiara in it.
Oh, I must credit FReeper Mike Fieschko for posting this so I could see it.
It could be that the artist has just done a drawing from the "blazon" - but surely even the blazon would distinguish between the tiara and the miter? Hmmm . ..
And the black fringe signify the sheep's feet.
There are lots of layers to the symbolism, what with the pierced red crosses...Agnus Dei...
If the new Papal pallium is included, then the crosses should be red not black.
Here's another charming story about a bear and a priest:
Father Murphy went hiking into the mountains for some quiet contemplation. He was deep into the forest, when suddenly a ferocious grizzly bear started charging towards him.
Realizing that he couldn't outrun the bear, Father Murphy started praying:
"Oh please Lord, let this be a bear that respects human life!"
The bear kept charging.
"Oh Lord, seeing how my faith is a kind and gentile one, please let this be a Christian bear!"
The bear kept charging, getting so close Father Murphy could smell him.
"Dear God, let this be a Catholic bear!"
The bear came to a screeching halt. The terrifying beast bowed it's head. Then it said, calmly: "Bless us O Lord, for these Thy gifts which we are about to receive...."
the Five Wounds of Christ