Bishop Myron Cotta

Earlier today the Most Rev. Myron Cotta was ordained as the Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento, California. His newly assumed arms are below.


The field is divided by an inverted chevron alluding to a carpenter’s square for St. Joseph and the San Joaquin Valley. In chief there is an amphora charged with the letters “SC” for sacred chrism. The bishop’s given name, Myron, is the Greek word for the sacred oil.

In base there appears a monogram composed of the letters “I”, “M” and “H”. This stands for (if you can believe it) the Immaculate heart of Mary with the “M” taking the most prominent place. The bishop has a great devotion to Our Lady under this title.

The motto translates to “Grace and Mercy” and is in Portuguese to reflect the bishop’s ethnicity as being from the Azores.

Well, there is an overabundance of the use of letters in this achievement. Someone clearly never heard that the use of letters in heraldry is considered port design. The “SC” on the amphora is, in my opinion, unnecessary. The amphora alone is a sufficient symbol for sacred oil. Why not actually depict the Immaculate Heart of Mary instead of abbreviating it? The monogram is an example of extremely poor design. It’s weak and not self evident where the image of the Immaculate heart would have been. In addition, since most people don’t know that the name Myron means sacred oil they will naturally assume that the gigantic “M” in the coat of arms stands for Myron and not for Mary.

This was done by Paul Sullivan. Not one of his best efforts.

2 thoughts on “Bishop Myron Cotta

  1. Hans van Heijningen

    As a member of the board of the Dutch Society of Latin Liturgy I strongly support Latin as the language of the (World-)church. And so in my oipinion mottoes in espicopal crests should always be in Latin. Americans catholics don’t understand Dutch, Dutch catholics don’t understand Swahili, Portugese and so on.
    Bishops are pastors from their diocese and their countries but first of all pastors in the Catholic Wolrd-Church. Here in the Netherlands we have an area behind us in which several new bishops crests got mottoes in Dutch language. We managed to push this back in our small country. Besides that I fully agree with the remarks of father Guy concerningthe letter-jungle in the Cotta-crest. A postive point however is that this shield in more simple in its arrangement than several other bishops crests.

  2. Pingback: Bishop Myron Cotta « Heraldic art, design, & illustration

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