Third Priestly Arms

Recent days have been busy and I have now completed a trifecta of sacerdotal arms all, as it happens, for priests who are also Benedictine monks. They’re from different communities and made their requests independently of each other. In addition, they have all proven to be men of exceeding patience because their projects kept getting sidelined by commissions I’d received to prepare a coat of arms for a new bishop. Those commissions are always time sensitive so all other considerations would have to go by the way side whenever I’d receive one.

Finding a window in the calendar I decided to make the extra effort to complete this three long-standing commissions. This is the last of the three.

These arms reflect the armiger’s community, apostolate, family history and monastic name. The inclusion of the chaplet encircling the shield indicates that he is a Professed Religious in vows and the galero indicates he is ordained to the priesthood. Not all Religious armigers choose to use the chaplet, especially if they are also ordained priests. It is a matter of choice.

In fact, it is worth pointing out that while there are specific external ornaments which may be used by an armiger to indicate what rank they hold, or honors they have received, none of these are required to be used. If an armiger should so desire, he/she may simply bear a shield and motto, or indeed even just the shield alone. I mention that last part because everyone in ecclesiastical circles seems to make such a big deal out of the motto. (Bishops especially). Mottoes are, strictly speaking, not really part of the coat of arms. It has become customary to display one’s motto in the achievement of arms but that, too, is not necessary.

5 thoughts on “Third Priestly Arms

  1. manareleven

    Dear Fr Guy,

    Very nice arms. Congratulations.

    Should be offering chaplets to all bishops who are Professed Religious or does the fact that they are no longer subject to the vow of obedience to their superiors within the Order or some other circumstance contraindicate?


    Richard d’Apice AM KCSG AIH
    Convenor Ecclesiastical Working Party
    The Australian Heraldry Society

    1. guyselvester Post author

      I’d say no. Not so much because they aren’t subject to their superiors but because the many tassels suspended from an episcopal galero would obscure them anyway and make the achievement overcrowded and “fussy”.

  2. Victor Siebeneck

    Your inclusion of a Chaplet as an external is really cool. Would someone who is a lay member (Third order) of one of the orders and assuming arms be entitled to such an ornament, or is this strictly reserved for those who are Religious?

    1. guyselvester Post author

      It is reserved to those who are Professed Religious in solemn vows in a Religious Order or Institute. That doesn’t include Third Orders. Of course, it should also be pointed out that Religious are lay people, not clergy, unless they are also ordained. The chaplet is a symbol of the solemn vows (perpetual vows) in the Religious Life.


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