Archbishop Gagnon of Winnipeg, Canada


On January 3 Archbishop Richard Gagnon, formerly bishop of Victoria was installed as Archbishop of Winnipeg. The arms (above) which he assumed upon becoming a bishop are retained. The shield is partly inspired by the emblem of Bishop Gagnon’s predecessor, Modeste Demers (1809-1871), the first Bishop of Vancouver Island. Bishop Demers and Bishop Gagnon are closely related via a collateral branch of the Demers family. Bishop Demers’ emblem was red and gold and featured a gold Latin cross set on a mount with two figures praying at the base of the cross. These tinctures have been kept, as has the cross. Since Bishop Gagnon was ordained on June 24th, the feast day of St. John the Baptist, the two charges are gold Agnus Dei emblems, traditionally associated with St. John the Baptist. This is also a reference to Bishop Gagnon’s ancestral roots in Quebec.

He may impale these arms with those of the archdiocese (below). In addition, the episcopal cross behind the shield will become an archiepiscopal cross with two horizontal bars and another row of green tassels will be added to the galero.



UPDATE: The only image I was able to obtain so far of the Archbishop’s arms impaled is in black and white. As one commenter on this post has already pointed out there have been slight changes made to the arms of the archdiocese.



3 thoughts on “Archbishop Gagnon of Winnipeg, Canada

  1. Hans van Heijningen

    Hans van Heijningen
    Utrecht, Netherlands

    WINNIPEG: I saw that indeed GAGNON marshalled-per pale his personal symbols with the crest of the archdiocese Winnipeg. By the way: I wonder whether the maple leaf should’nt be argent ( reversed flag-colors). And is the rivers-pall indeed sable?

    Greetings, Hans

  2. Hans van Heijningen

    On the archdiocesan website we learn that archbishop Gagnon indeed marshalled his coat of arms with that of the archdiocese Winnipeg. However I must base myself on a black-and-white picture. There is something remarkable: the personal part remained unchanged, but the appearance of the archdiocesan crest changed on details. The pall is no more engrailed and black, but wavy and as far as I can see, azure. Instead of two lilies argent on the gold field we now see just one lily argent on the (blue?) pall wavy.

    1. guyselvester Post author

      The change in the position of the lily may have been done to avoid placing silver flowers on a gold field. In addition, the change from a pall engrailed to a pall wavy may have been done to better indicate water. However, I caution you regarding the colors. Since it is a black and white rendering I wouldn’t make any assumptions about colors until you are able to see a color rendering and/or read an actual blazon of the archdiocesan arms.


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