Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington, Vermont


On January 29 Bishop Christopher Coyne, until now Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis and before that a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, will be installed as the 10th Bishop of Burlington, Vermont.

The dexter side of the shield (to the viewer’s left), represents the coat of arms of the Diocese of Burlington and is composed of a green field, which meets a gold chief (upper one-third of the design) at a jagged line, called “dancetty,” to give the impression of green mountain peaks, thus honoring the Green Mountain State of Vermont. Below the mountain is a golden stag’s head that is taken from the arms of Lord Cavendish, Earl of Burlington, for whom the See City is named. Between the stag’s antlers, as seen in the arms of the Archdiocese of Boston, is a golden cross fleuretty. This cross, honoring the French missionaries who first brought The Faith to the region, signifies that the first priest to be stationed in the service of the people of Vermont, Father Jeremiah O’Callaghan, was sent by Boston Bishop Benedict Fenwick.

The sinister side (to the viewers right) ‘s occupied by the personal heraldry of Bishop Coyne; upon a blue (azure) field is Bishop Coyne’s coat of arms which blends images representing his love for God, family genealogy and ministry history in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Bishop Coyne’s grandfathers were Irish and his grandmothers were French. The coat of arms reflects those two heritages with the Celtic cross and the fleur de lis. The Celtic cross also calls to mind the centrality of the cross in the history of salvation and the sacrifice of Jesus which brings redemption. The fleur de lis also represent Mary, the Mother of our Savior, and Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Finally, the blue (azure) field also calls to mind Mary, the Immaculate Conception, under whose patronage the Diocese of Burlington has been placed.

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