Coat of Arms of a Priest


Above is the coat of arms for an American Benedictine monk and priest. Disappointed that there was not any external ornament in Catholic heraldry that would specifically and immediately identify a coat of arms as belonging to a Benedictine as, for example, the cross fleury behind the shield used by Dominicans, and cognizant that it was inappropriate simply to marshal his own arms to those of his Order (as far too many Religious mistakenly do) I was asked by him to come up with a design that reflected his membership in the Order of St. Benedict.

The principal charge, a raven, is a symbol of St. Benedict and the heart it holds in its beak is a reflection of both a personal devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the part of the armiger as well as an allusion to the motto which means “Bend my Heart” or “Incline my Heart” which is also inspired by a line in the Holy Rule of St. Benedict.

The background is a variation of the blue and silver fusils in bend that can be found in the arms of Bavaria. The monastery to which he belongs is one of several in the U.S. founded by Bavarian monks who came to the U.S. as missionaries in the mid 19th C. and it also forms part of the monastery’s own coat of arms. Here the fusils are placed in a straight vertical position rather than in bend and the field draws in close to create a single fusil in the center as the background for the raven.

This coat of arms was designed by me in 2014 and most recently and very beautifully rendered by the Italian heraldic artist, Marco Foppoli.

5 thoughts on “Coat of Arms of a Priest

  1. ioannespetrus

    Good Friday, Father! I’ve been observing that this may be a lonely time for Priests, liturgically speaking, so you (all) are in my prayers.

    How much do you commission to do such work on coats of arms, and does that include rendering? Because coincidentally you posted this as I was tweeting about the first blazon I’ve attempted – of arms I intend for myself – though based on a rough sketch I had done before. But certainly I wouldn’t display this; rather any decent rendering would suit me.

  2. John Shannon

    A fine design underscoring your masterful skill as a herald; and Marco’s handiwork makes it come alive.


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