Archbishop Porteous of Hobart


The coat of arms of the Most Rev. Julian Porteous, up until now the auxiliary bishop of Sydney, Australia who has been promoted to be the (non Metropolitan) Archbishop of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. He will be installed on September 17th. The Archbishop decided to re-design his current coat of arms, assumed at the time he was named auxiliary bishop, to bring them into better harmony when impaled with the arms of the See of Hobart. Archbishop Julian’s original arms were: “Quarterly, Vert and Or, a cross throughout Counterchanged; in dexter chief a dove rising surrounded by a golden effulgence and in sinister base an open book Argent, bound Or charged with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega Gules”.

In the redesign he has retained the dove representing the Holy Spirit and requested in be surrounded by rays suggesting the famous Bernini window above the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica. In addition the open book alluding to the Sacred Scriptures has been retained. Thus showing the heraldic equivalent of Spirit and Wisdom.

The new blazon is: “Arms impaled. In the dexter Azure the letter “M” Argent crowned with a celestial crown Or (Hobart); In the sinister per fess Gules and Argent, in chief a sun in splendor, the rays of light depicted as straight lines radiating to the edge of the field, within a ring all Or, charged overall with a dove displayed affronté Argent; in base an open book Argent, bound Gules and charged on the pages with the letters alpha and omega, Gules”.

The arms were designed by me and Mr. Richard d’Apice of Australia and depicted by Mr. Sandy Turnbull, also of Australia.

5 thoughts on “Archbishop Porteous of Hobart

    1. guyselvester Post author

      His arms before he became pope when he was Patriarch of Venice were similar. They were Azure three stars of six points in two rows of one and two Or; on a chief Argent the lion of St. Mark Proper. Before that his episcopal arms were Azure three stars of six points Or and in base three coupeaux Vert.

  1. Hans van Heijningen

    It seems to me that the shape of the (celestial crown) was not stable in the various bishops c.o.a.’s. in Hobart.
    That in the arms of mgr. DOYLE are in some pictures even with three leaves and two pearls.
    In the arms PORTEOUS I see stars with 7 points instead of the 5 of 6 which I expected for celestial crowns (Marial stars?).
    In the drawings on the diocesan web I saw the other crowns (BARRY, SIMONDS, TWEEDY and YOUNG) even with five ‘golden’ pearls.

    The late Micheal McCarthy gives in his book “An Armorial of the hierarchy of the catholic church in Australia”(1998) always the same model: a celestial crown with five 5-pt stars, all or.

    What is your opinion about this? Was always meant (from BARRY, 1919, on) a celestial crown with five stars? 5,6 or 7 points?

    1. guyselvester Post author

      The blazon doesn’t specify. If the blazon simply says “a celestial crown” then the crown should be depicted as a celestial crown, that is to say a crown with stars on its points. How many points the crown should have and how many points the stars should have, unless specifically mentioned in the blazon, is a decision that is left up to how the individual artist wishes to depict it.


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