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The meaning behind the symbols

Ring is a reminder that he serves in the manner of Jesus, the Good Shepherd

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Father Richard Vigoa assists Bishop-elect Enrique Delgado in vesting prior to the start of solemn vespers on the eve of his ordination as the newest auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Miami.

Photographer: TOM TRACY | FC

Father Richard Vigoa assists Bishop-elect Enrique Delgado in vesting prior to the start of solemn vespers on the eve of his ordination as the newest auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Miami.

MIAMI | During his ordination as bishop, Bishop Enrique Delgado received three symbols of his new office:

  • the crosier, or pastoral staff, shaped like a shepherd’s crook, which symbolizes his authority and jurisdiction over a particular flock;
  • the ring, emblematic of the betrothal of the bishop to the Church;
  • and the miter, the tall, pointed ceremonial cap worn as part of liturgical dress.

Before his ordination, and as soon as his appointment was made public, Bishop Delgado also began wearing a fourth symbol of the bishop’s office, the pectoral cross, which is worn “on the breast” attached to a chain or cord.

The wearing of this insignia traces back, in many cases, to the Roman customs or practices adopted in the Middle Ages. But they have taken on a deeper religious meaning over time.

Bishop Delgado’s crosier is made of wood, with his episcopal coat of arms carved into the side of the hook that faces him when he uses it. Underneath is his episcopal motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (See accompanying story for explanation of coat of arms.)

The crosier was made in Cuba by a Cuban artist with wood from the island. Archbishop Thomas Wenski has gifted each of his auxiliary bishops with a similar wooden crosier, made by the same artist.

On Bishop Delgado’s ring is an image of a lamb with a cross behind it. This is a reminder of his responsibility as bishop to care for God's flock in South Florida as does Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

 

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