Saturday, May 29, 2010
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
The left side of the coat of arms represents the Archdiocese of Miami. The palm tree in gold bespeaks the territory of the archdiocese, where this tree grows plentifully and luxuriously, so much so that it is practically a symbol of this area.
On a field of blue, the hue of the sky, the tree issues from a golden fess or horizontal bar between two silver crosses, as emblems of the Catholic faith. The base of the shield displays wavy and silver blue bars, the heraldic equivalent of water, to signify that the See City (of the Metropolitan Province of Florida) is encompassed by water.
The right side of the coat of arms is Archbishop Wenki’s personal heraldry. The archbishop’s episcopal motto is “Omnia Omnibus”, which means “all things to all men”. The scriptural text is taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, “I have become all things to all men, to save at least some.” (9:22)
His coat of arms shows a white eagle in the center, symbolic of Poland, his ethnic heritage. At the feet of the eagle are two silver crosses originally taken from the archbishop’s home diocese of Miami and now retained as a sign of God’s Divine Providence as the archbishop returns to his birthplace and the seeds of his early ministry.
Above the eagle are three fleur-de-leys which are taken from the shield of the Diocese of Orlando where he served as bishop. These ancient symbols represent the Virgin Mary under the three titles that have marked the archbishop’s pastoral ministry: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, patroness of Haitians; Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cubans; and the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the United States. The background of the shield is blue and red, the colors of the Haitian flag.
The entire design is surmounted by the metropolitan cross and the traditional galero or tasseled hat indicating the rank of archbishop.