Bishop Comensoli of Broken Bay, Australia

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The Broken Bay diocesan Arms display a lighthouse spreading the light of the gospel over the diocese. The detail echoes the detail of the Barrenjoey lighthouse which unites the two main land masses that comprise the regions of the diocese.

The arms and motto which Bishop Comensoli adopted at the time he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney in 2011 are of a personal character and are blazoned: Azure, on a Latin cross inverted Or four seven-pointed mullets (or Commonwealth stars) Gules, in the first quarter a lion’s head erased Argent crined and langued Or and in the second a unicorn’s head erased Argent crined and armed Or respectant.

In layman’s terms, the arms may be described as: On a blue field, a gold cross inverted with a red seven-pointed (or Commonwealth) star at each extremity, in the upper left quarter, a silver lion’s head erased at the neck with gold mane and tongue and in the upper right quarter a silver unicorn’s head erased at the neck with gold mane and horn. The motto ‘Praedicamus Christum Crucifixum’ is a quotation from the Apostle Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians (1Cor1.23), and can be translated as ‘We preach Christ crucified’.

The inverted Latin Cross symbolises the Bishop’s nominal patron, the Apostle Peter and the stars reflect the Southern Cross, which shines out over the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit. The lion and the unicorn respectively symbolise the mind and the heart of love. The meaning of these symbols, while of medieval provenance, is especially associated with the seminal work on Christian love by the English Jesuit, Martin C D’Arcy SJ, “The Mind and Heart of Love: Lion and Unicorn: A Study in Eros and Agape”. Bishop Comensoli will be installed as the Third Bishop of Broken Bay on Dec. 12.

The personal arms were designed by me and Mr. Richard d’Apice of the Australian Heraldry Society and originally emblazoned as well as marshaled with the arms of the diocese and emblazoned again by Mr. Sandy Turnbull also of the Australian Heraldry Society.

2 thoughts on “Bishop Comensoli of Broken Bay, Australia

  1. Hans van Heijningen

    Was the field in the dexter (diocesan) half always blue? In the shield of predecessor Walker this field was so dark that I doubted between “Prussian” blue and very dark green.
    By the way: congratulations with this attractive solution.


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