Parish of St. Catherine Labouré in Harrisburg, PA


The arms naturally incorporate images found on the Miraculous Medal, which had been first entrusted to Catherine Labouré by the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The shield incorporates four images found on the Medal, the Marian monogram, the stars from Sacred Scripture (as ascribed to Mary in the Apocalypse: 12-13), and the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary side by side.  The shield is worked in blue and in gold.  On this gold field is found the Marian cipher, a letter “M” surmounted by a Christian Cross, an image presented to Saint Catherine by the Virgin Mary herself.  It is blue, as it represents the Blessed Mother specifically.

The blue field above represents the Blessed Virgin, of course, but more so in Her title of Our Lady of Grace.  Upon this field appear the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, linked theologically as Mary always stood beside her Son.  These two images associated with the Miraculous Medal are surrounded by the twelve stars that surround Mary’s head as a halo in many Marian images, most definitely those associated with Her as Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal as seen on the reverse side of the medal itself.  Both hearts suffer and bleed for the world.

Saint Catherine supports the shield in her historic and colorful habit of a Daughter of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul as it was worn at the time of her life on earth.  Saint Catherine stands on a compartment upon a green river bank above the blue waters of the Susquehanna River that runs through the state capital city to which the parish is near.  The shield rests upon a stone, specifically a keystone, the emblem of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Next to the keystone is found a floral spray composed of shamrocks honoring the patron saint of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Saint Patrick of Ireland; and mountain laurel, the official flower of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Design: J. Noonan  Art: L. Nicholson

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