Traditionally in the Church most bishops and the Pope have a personal Coat of Arms. Originally used to mark or seal documents they now serve to identify people and dioceses. They often reflect the story of a Bishop’s ministry or express his hopes for the future. In preparation for his episcopal ordination, which will take place on September 25th, Bishop-Elect Fintan has prepared his personal Coat of Arms and Motto.
Coat of Arms
The Bishop-Elect’s Coat of arms consists of: on the left hand side, the ancient arms of the Diocese of Killaloe, and on the right, the personal coat of arms, chosen by the bishop himself.
The arms of the Diocese consist of a Latin cross between four trefoils with the emblem of the key occupying the chief position. The arms connote the guardianship of Christ’s Kingdom, with special reference to St. Peter.
The personal dimension of the new Bishop’s Coat of Arms represents his origins and ministry. It consists mainly of the Monahan family Coat of Arms with representations of faith, generosity and protection.
The three mullets (the term mullet in heraldry refers to a star with straight sides, typically having five points) wish to recall the three figures of the apparition of Knock; Our Lady, St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph.
The arms also include the broken chariot wheel of St Jarlath which represents the new Bishop’s priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Tuam and long association with St Jarlath’s College prior to his appointment as Bishop of Killaloe.
The Coat of Arms is surmounted by the Galero which was originally a pilgrim’s hat and is ornamented by twelve tassels called fiocchi.
BishopElect Fintan has chosen as his motto; “Críost Liom Críost Romham” – Christ with me, Christ before me. These words are taken from Lúireach Phádraig, (St Patrick’s Breastplate), a 5th Century Irish Hymn whose lyrics were traditionally attributed to St. Patrick and his ministry. The words reflect Bishop Fintan’s prayer and hope for his ministry as Bishop of Killaloe.