Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Non Nisi Te

Many people noticed that our new Archbishop, Malcolm McMahon, has adopted a coat of arms that is emblazoned on a "new" Cathedra. I understand is in fact an older throne, replacing the rather insignificant seat in use in recent years. The motto “Non nisi Te” means “None but You”.  I haven't been able to find anything explaining the emblems in detail but did some little research for an article in the parish newsletter, as we received a letter from the Archbishop this week thanking the parish for the prayers and good wishes we sent to him.

On the left side of the shield is a pale blue field (signifying truth and loyalty) with the pallium of the archbishop (which will be given to him by the Pope in due course).

Within this there is a golden anchor above (this is a reference to Liverpool as a maritime city, as the anchor was given to Pope Clement - who was martyred by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the Black See - and Nicolas of Bari. Nicolas of Bari is the patron saint of sailors. The anchor signifies steadfastness and stability. In seafaring nations, the anchor is a symbol of good luck, of safety, and of security, and thus of trust and confidence).

The anchor is charged with a red rose (for Lancashire).

The right side of the shield bears the black and white Dominican symbol - he was ordained as a priest of the Dominican Order, properly called the Order of Preachers (you will see O.P. after their name. The Dominicans were founded by St Dominic to combat heresy and preach the Gospel and recognised by the Holy See   in 1216. They are sometimes called the Hounds of God, in recognition of their role in defending the Faith and as a latin pun on their name “Domini Canes” (God’s Dogs) Domini-cans!

The chief (at the strip atop the shield) above is red - signifying martyrdom and the call to shed one’s blood in defending the Faith.  

It also bears the dove (for peace) and fleurs-de-lys (signifying Our Blessed Lady) .

The green galero (archbishop’s hat - green was the ancient colour that bishops wore before purple) above the shield has four rows of fiocchi (tassels) hanging to either side indicating his rank as archbishop, as does the two-bar archiepiscopal cross behind the shield.


Fr Philip said...

Well done finding out all the symbols on Archbishop Malcolm's achievement - except one: the dove is a symbol of peace, and it is true the Archbishop has been president of Pax Christi, the actual link is his name 'Malcolm' which means 'follower of Columba.'
I know this as I designed both this coat of arms and his orginal design when he was Bishop of Nottingham.

Fr Simon Henry said...

Thank you Fr Philip. Heraldry isn't any area of expertise for me!