In accordance with the Church’s heraldic tradition as instructed by the Holy See on March 31, 1969, the Coat of Arms of a Bishop is composed of the following:
- A shield with its symbols, referring to family, geographic, religious and historical meanings and/or to the name of the Bishop
- A golden processional cross, representing the rank of Bishop, behind the shield
- A green hat, called a galero, with twelve (six on each side) tassels attached, in rows of one, two and three, from the top
- A scroll with the motto, written in black, located beneath the shield
Bishop Cantú’s Motto
“Zelus Domus Tuae Comedit Me”
Bishop Cantú chose as his episcopal motto the Latin words, Zelus domus tuae comedit me. This phrase, from Psalm 69, expresses the Bishop’s firm belief that all he does is for God: “Zeal for Your house consumes me.”
Blazonry (heraldic description)
of the Coat of Arms of Bishop Oscar Cantú
It is customary for a Bishop’s coat of arms to be described in 12th century, archaic terms. The heraldic shield is the central and most important feature of the coat of arms.
For his personal arms, Bishop Cantú has adopted a design that reflects aspects of his life and his ministry as a priest. On a white field across the center of the design is a black table on which is displayed a gold chalice and silver or white host, for the Eucharist, the central feature of priestly ministry. The Lord’s table and the family table are where we gather – in the Church and the domestic Church. They are central in the life of the family of the Church, as well as in the life of the Cantú family.
The design is placed on a split field that is blue on top and green on the bottom. On this split field are two crosiers: a gold bishop’s staff and a simple abbot’s veiled staff. These are to honor Saint Ansgar (also known as Saint Oscar), who was a Benedictine abbot before he was appointed Bishop of Hamburg, Germany. Abbots used a veiled crosier because, in ancient days, when bishops wore gloves during the liturgy, abbots did not; and the veil was used to keep the abbot’s hands clean for worship.
The coat of arms is completed with external ornaments consisting of a gold episcopal processional cross that is placed in back of – and which extends above and below – the shield; and the green pontifical hat (galero) with six tassels, in three rows on either side of the shield.
Designed by Deacon Paul J. Sullivan, Diocese of Providence.