Having seen a Facebook post I wrote about this some time ago my friend and heraldic enthusiast and artist Xavi Garcia who writes the excellent blog Dibujo Heráldico posted recently about the coat of arms of the Prefect of the Pontifical Household (and former secretary to Pope Benedict XVI) Archbishop Georg Gänswein. It is the custom of the Prefect of the Pontifical Household to impale (combine on the same shield) his personal arms with those of the reigning pope. When Archbishop Gänswein was named an archbishop earlier this year he adopted personal arms that reflect St. George, his baptismal patron (the dragon being slain with a spear) and his devotion to Our Lady (the star). These were impaled with the arms of Pope Benedict (above). Now that Pope Francis has been elected and Archbishop Gänswein remains as Prefect of the Pontifical Household (at least for now) his arms are changed to be impaled with those of Pope Francis (below). Now there is a great deal of blue on one shield but that was not something that could have been forseen. Xavi has depicted the two coats of arms himself in his own style and I am happy to share them with you here. Check out his blog while you’re at it too!
(artwork: Xavi Garcia)