New Territorial Abbot of St. Maurice (UPDATED)


The Rt. Rev. Jean Scarcella was born Dec. 28, 1951 in Montreux. After his novitiate, he took his vows at the Abbey of Saint-Maurice 5 October 1985. A graduate of music, he was ordained a priest March 31, 1990.

He became pastor of Bex in 1992. In 2006 he was appointed liturgical animator then rector of the Basilica of Saint-Maurice, in addition to his work in Bex before becoming Prior on July 25,2009. As prior he was the first assistant of the Abbot in governing the Abbey as well as the Congregation of Canons Regular.

Following the election of Chapter of the Abbey on April 10, 2015, Pope Francis confirmed this choice and appointed him 95th Territorial  Abbot of Saint-Maurice Agaune on May 22, 2015.

He has chosen to make use of a very simple coat of arms and not to use the external ornament of a green galero with 12 tassels.

8 thoughts on “New Territorial Abbot of St. Maurice (UPDATED)

  1. Hans van Heijningen

    Hallo father Guy
    Are you sure you not to be in error? This shield with this motto is that of his predecessor, abbé RODUIT. For abbé Scarcella we only know the motto: DEUS SEMPER MAIOR (from wikimedia commons). I hope the shield follows soon.

      1. Hans van Heijningen

        I found the coat of arms of abbott SCARCELLA. I discovered it first on wikipedia and went then to the web of the Swiss Bishops Conference. You were there on the web before they replaced the arms of Roduit by those of the new abbott Scarcella. I was there tolday, 23.11.15. Mind that there is a crozier without a sudarium. Wikipedia added a sudarium but could be hypercorrect.
        Description (I cannot scan images!):
        Per quarter: I and IV: gueules a cross botonny argent (abbaye Saint-Maurice); II and III: or three chevrons azure; motto DEUS SEMPER MAIOR; behind: a crozier or per pale; green hat and 2 x 6 green tassels.
        Looking to the Swiss episcopal heraldry the chance is big that the chevrons are a family-arms, but I cannot state that.

  2. ioannespetrus

    Say I were a craftsman and wanted to portray on a gift to the Abbot His Lordship’s arms.
    1. Can’t I design the proper external ornaments around his escutcheon, in recognition of his rank?
    2. Should I do same, in recognition of (what is presumably) his artistic choice?

    1. Isaac Cisa

      In theory, symbols of rank must appear in an achievement of arms unless they are outranked by others also possessed by the same individual.
      As their use is restricted, they are, by all standards, privileges.
      Choosing not to use them is, therefore, a disrespect, first, to the title, office or honour bestowed upon you, and second, to yourself, degrading your arms to the level of those of a common citizen when you are not.

      So, in my opinion, if you were to craft a representation of abbot Scarcella’s arms, they would have to include the symbols of his office, as you would include a crown, sword and orb in a royal portrait, even if the king had never used any of those.

      1. ioannespetrus

        Thanks for sharing your opinion, with which I agree: it would be, after all, the purpose of my hypothetical gift.

      2. guyselvester Post author

        it should be kept in mind that the only external symbol REQUIREDto indicate the arms of an abbot is the crozier.the galero is optional; it does NOT have to be used. The other opinion expressed here that external ornaments MUST be used since they are privileges is one with which I do not agre.

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