On June 29, the Solemnity of Ss. Peter & Paul, the Most Rev. Luis Miguel Romero Fernández, M.Id. (66) a native of Palencia, Spain and a member of the Idente Missionaries currently serving as a pastor in the Diocese of Rockville Centre which covers two thirds of New York’s Long Island, will be ordained the Titular Bishop of Egara and Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre. The coat of arms I assisted him in designing which he will assume as a bishop are as follows:
The coat of arms assumed by Bishop Romero reflects his Religious Community, the diocese in which he serves, his previous ministry and his heritage. The colors used in this coat of arms are primarily red, white and blue, the national colors of the United States because the bishop wishes to honor the country in which he now lives and serves as both a priest and bishop. The main charge, or feature, across the middle of the shield is a bar specifically shaped to suggest an open book with the blue lower portion representing the binding and spine of the book and the white upper portion suggesting the pages. This is used to symbolize the many years the bishop spent working in a university setting as a teacher and administrator.
The lower portion of the shield depicts three red roses on their green stems. This is an allusion to the miracle of the roses in December that accompanied the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego. As such they serve as a symbol of Our Lady, especially Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and a particular devotion to the Hispanic peoples. This is for all the many years the bishop has spent in priestly ministry outside his native Spain serving Spanish-speaking people in other countries, especially in the Americas.
The upper part of the shield contains the symbol of the Community to which the bishop belongs, the Idente Missionaries. He is the first member of this community to be appointed a bishop so it was of great importance for him to include the community emblem in his own coat of arms. This is flanked by two escallop shells taken from the coat of arms of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in which he has served as a priest and pastor and which he is now called to serve in a greater capacity as a bishop.
The motto below the shield is, “Meek And Humble Of Heart” (Matthew 11:29)
The bishop specifically asked that the episcopal cross behind the shield and the galero be depicted in as simple a style as possible so they are depicted without any ornamentation. This, of course, is not reflected in the blazon because the blazon does not specify the manner of the depiction of the external ornaments. Rather, this was merely the simple manner in which the bishop requested this depiction be rendered.
An interesting design, Fr. Selvester. I was wondering (1) if there are precedents for this type of book-shaped bar; and (2) how you would (formally) blazon it?
The blazon is: Per fess Gules and Argent; a bar wavy composed of two troughs and one wave per fess Argent & Azure, with the upper edge invected of one point and the middle division line engrailed of one point with the lower edge of the bar dovetailed of a single point at the center.
It is complex but sometimes that’s what is needed. I saw a similar wavy bar in the arms of George Washington university. I’d love to say that it’s entirely unique but it isn’t. Rather than use the usual and overused open book charge and having remembered the GWU arms I tweaked it a bit to reconcile some tincture issues. It was the armiger himself who requested the dovetail on the bottom edge to suggest the book’s spine.