Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

The Coat of Arms of His Excellency, The Most Reverend Thomas A. Daly, D.D., Bishop of Spokane

the Inland Register

(From the May 21, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Blazon: Arms impaled. Dexter: Argent, a cross throughout Gules, charged at the center by a lily of the first; to chief dexter a sunburst of the last. Sinister: Argent, the monogram of the Blessed Virgin Mary Azure above, issuant from base a mountain Sable; on a chief embattled Gules a diadem Or.

Significance: The episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield – that is the central and most important part of the design and tells to whom the design belongs. The external ornamentation, that tells the owner’s position or rank, and a motto, are placed upon a scroll. By heraldic tradition the design is described (blazoned) as if being done by the bearer with the shield being worn on the arm. Thus, where it applies the terms “sinister” and “dexter” are reversed as the design is viewed from the front.

For the bishop of a diocese, known as an Ordinary, his personal arms are joined (impaled) with the arms of his jurisdiction; in this case, the Diocese of Spokane.

The arms of the diocese are composed of a silver (white) field upon which is seen a red cross, of the Faith, throughout. At the center of the cross is a silver (white) lily to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in her title of Our Lady of Lourdes, titular of the diocesan cathedral church. To the upper left (chief dexter) is a red sunburst that signifies that the local Native American people are known as the “Children of the Sun.”

In the sinister impalement of the design (right side) are the personal arms of Bishop Daly that were adopted at the time of his selection to receive the fullness of Christ’s holy priesthood as a bishop, when he became auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of San Jose in California.

These are composed of a silver (white) field on which is seen the specialized monogram of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in blue, as it appears on the reverse side of The Miraculous Medal. By the use of this symbol, His Excellency, Bishop Daly, acknowledges his deep devotion to Our Mother Mary, and to St. Vincent de Paul, the bishop’s personal patron saint. The Monogram of Mary is placed above the silhouette of Mount Tamalpals, which is the iconic image of Marin County in California where Bishop Daly served all of his priestly ministry until his call to San Jose.

The upper one-third of the Bishop’s personal arms is called a “chief.” This chief is red and embattled and has displayed upon it a gold (yellow) diadem. These charges are employed to honor the heritage of the bishop’s parents, Donald and Marian (Early) Daly, who have these devices as parts of their families’ coats of arms.

For his motto, His Excellency, Bishop Daly, has retained the phrase “Into Your Hands, Lord.” This phrase, a paraphrase of Christ’s last words as he hung upon the cross, expresses Bishop Daly’s deep conviction that it is in surrendering to the Will of God that man is able to accomplish what may be God’s design for him.

The achievement is completed with the external ornaments that are a gold (yellow) processional cross that extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a galero, with its six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See, of March 1969.

– Deacon Paul J. Sullivan, Narragansett, R.I.

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