Pope's Motto: 'Miserando Atque
Eligendo' And Coat of Arms Released Todayتكبير الصورةتصغير الصورة معاينة الأبعاد الأصلية.
Vatican City, (Zenit.org)
Pope Francis has chosen to remain with his
episcopal seal and motto. Added to the original papal seal are a blue background
along with a miter with cross keys of gold and silver along with a red cord,
symbol of his pontifical office.
The emblem of the Society of Jesus, the order
which Pope Francis belongs to, is placed above on the shield. The emblem is an
image of a radiant sun with the letters “IHS” the monogram of the name of
Christ. A cross is placed above the letter H of the monogram while three nails
are placed below it.
On the bottom left hand side of the shield is an
image of a star, which according to heraldic tradition, symbolizes the Virgin
Mary, mother of Christ and of the Church. To the right of the star is the image
of the spikenard, an aromatic plant, meant to symbolize St. Joseph, Patron of
the Universal Church. According to spanish iconographic tradition, St. Joseph is
depicted holding a branch of spikenard in his hand.
By placing these two symbols on his coat of arms,
Pope Francis wished to express his particular devotion to the Virgin Mary and
The Holy Father’s motto, “Miserando Atque
Eligendo”, (Because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him) is taken
from a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable regarding the calling of St. Matthew
Saint Bede’s homily, which is read on the feast of
St. Matthew, is a homage to the divine mercy of Christ, and is of significance
to the Holy Father in his spiritual itinerary. According to a communique
explaining the Papal coat of arms, at the age of 17, the young Jorge Bergoglio
experienced in a particular way, the loving presence of God in his life.
Following confession, his heart was touched but
the descent of the mercy of God, who with tender love called him to the
religious life, following the example of Saint Ignatius of Loyola,” the
“Upon being chosen as bishop, Bishop Bergoglio, in
remembrance of that event that began his total consecration to God in the
Church, decides to choose as motto and program of his life, the phrase by Saint
Bede miserando atque eligendo which he has chosen to reproduce on his own
pontifical coat of arms.”