On March 14 the Most Rev. Stefan Hesse, 48, was ordained and installed as the 5th Archbishop of Hamburg, Germany.


1 thought on “Hamburg

  1. Hans van Heijningen

    There is something interesting in this coat of arms: we see the charges from the diocesan c.o.a. spread over the whole bishops shield.

    The c.o.a. of the archdiocese HAMBURG is as follows:
    “Gules, two keys per saltire, wards upward-outwards; in chief a 6pt star and in base a crossed heart, all argent”.

    The first two bishops had their shields per quarter: 1 and IV the dioceses; II and III their personal charges. (Ludwig Averkamp 1994-2002 and Werner Thissen 2003-2015). Those shields were clear but a bit overcrowded.

    The new bishop Hesse has also a quartered shield:
    In (I) we see the Petri-keys, main charge from the archdiocesan shield, that was also the symbol of the in the Reformation abolished diocese Bremen.
    In (IV) we see the charge from the base of the archdiocesan shield, a crossed heart, being the symbol of Niels Stensen, bishop (1638-1686).
    In (II) we see the Marial star from the chief of the archiocesan shield, for Mother Mary, patron of the archdiocese Hamburg and her cathedral. But the colors changed in azure on argent (for heraldic reasons?)
    In (III) we see on argent a bend wavy azure, for the river Rhine (the archbishop comes from Köln), for the river Elbe in Hamburg and for the North Sea and the Baltic Sea on which both seas the archiocese is situated.
    The motto comes from Matthew 19, 26.

    The special thing is here the spread of diocesan symbols over three fields. I don’t know an equal case in other European bishops c.o.a. To the one side it obscure the appearance and understanding of the “diocesan arms”, on the other hand the apperance of the shield-Hesse is more balanced and avoids overcrowding.


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