On Sunday, June 14 the Most Rev. Wilhelm Krautwaschl will be ordained a bishop and installed as the 40th Bishop of Graz-Seckau in Austria.


2 thoughts on “Graz-Seckau

  1. Hermann

    In a way, Mons. Krautwaschl is (still) “my” bishop, because I was born and raised in his diocese. After University, I moved away, but still keep an eye on developments back home. While the new bishop’s coat of arms is nicely done, I confess that I could “read” only one of the four quarters: The arm giving a blessing is the historic coat of arms of the diocese of Graz-Seckau (formerly only “Seckau”) – it can be found first on sources dating from the 14th century: One is the famous Zurich Roll of Arms, the other a fresco in the historic Bishop’s residence in Graz, Austria.

    However, since the rest was a riddle to me, I started to look around a bit and found the background to this episcopal achievement. The fleur-de-lys is usually meant as one of several symbols for Our Lady. This not the case here – instead it means Her Son, the light born into the night of this world. This special meaning (instead of the “accepted usage”) can be rather confusing. The ladder and the star symbolize Jacob’s ladder, the stairway to heaven; from his studies in theology, the new bishop has retained a special reverence to the patriarch Jacob. To me, this is done very accurately. And last, the willow – this was included as a symbol for baptism, the first of the sacraments (new life from the water), and for the power of life in general.

    So, while the coat of arms conforms to the laws of heraldry and is competently executed, it is also like a modern work of art: Without explanatory texts, especially without a smattering of the new bishop’s biography, one is quite lost.


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