Friday, September 28, 2007


Bearing in mind the information from the last Symbolic Saturday it should be of little surprise that coats of arms generally come in one three shapes based on armor. They might be circular or with a flat top and pointed bottom (see JPII's at the bottom of the post) mimicking a knight's shield, or a shape called a horse’s head, which resembles the armor that covers the head of a knight’s horse.

Over time a somewhat universal color scheme developed.

Red or gules shows eagerness to serve the fatherland.

Blue or azure denotes fidelity or steadfastness.

Black or sable symbolizes mourning.

Green or vert calls to mind freedom or beauty, joy and health, and/or hope.

Purple or purpure signifies majesty.

Brown or tenne is associated with nature.

And while orange is an official heraldic color, it is not associated with any particular meaning.

Along with colors there are what is also called metals, which are a distinct category.

Gold/yellow or or proclaims majesty, or understanding, or virtue or respect.

Silver/white or argent symbolizes cleanliness, wisdom, innocence, chastity, and joy.

The best heraldry should be easily recognized as quickly as possible under unfavorable conditions. To that end metal should never be placed on metal and color never set on top of color and be relatively simple. Wording, while it may appear as a motto with a shield, is never placed on heraldry. John Paul II was highly criticized for placing an “M” on his shield. A coat of arms acts as a person’s presence when he is not there, even in death, and it is considered somewhat redundant to publish a coat of arms that also has the person’s name with it. It's a bit like wearing a name tag with your picture on it.

Next week, the move to ecclesial heraldry.


1. Can you name the nine choirs of angels? The Supreme Hierarchy: 1. seraphim, 2. cherubim, 3. thrones; The Middle Choirs: 4.dominions, 5. virtues, 6. powers, and The Third Level, 7. principalities, 8. archangels, and lastly, 9. angles. Now that you read this a bet you knew it!

2. From which Choir is St. Michael? You might be saying, “Wait! St. Michael is from the second lowest class of angels? No, he is of the seraphic order. Archangel can have two meanings; one a class of angel and the other meaning top angles just as the word angel can mean messenger or be a class of angels.

3. From which choir do guardian angels come? Guardian angels can come from any of the choirs.

4. What does the name Lucifer mean? His name roughly means light or light bearer. He was purported to be the most beautiful of angels before he fell.
5. Do angles have free will? Yes. Well, unless like Rob you are answering the question about angles and not angels. But unlike us angels are free from all deception and illusion, therefore their decision for or against God was instantaneous and permanent. Though free to, they would not change their minds as it were. (So, Fr. Kyle, you get half credit.)


Father Kyle said...

I always tried to outsmart the test. Thanks for at least the partial credit!

Fr. V said...


uncle jim said...

so, what's your angle on angels?
i see a lot of obtuse angles floating around there

also, rob tells one heck of a story over at "a second chance".

Stephen said...

could you say that Lucifer fell BECAUSE he was the most beautiful? (the pride this caused)

Adoro te Devote said...

You know...I HATED Geometry. The artist in me was intrigued to a certain degree, and then they threw numbers at me.

So I geometrically proved there was a God, right there in 10th Grade.


Just ask my Guardian Angel. He's right here with me, standing with the Guardian Angle. That's the thing that overcame the teacher who gave me the passing grade.