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Diocese of Covington at 1125 Madison Ave., Covington, KY 41011-3115 US - Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms

Symbolism of Coat of Arms

The custom of a bishop employing a coat of arms dates to the Middle Ages. It was an adaptation of the medieval knight’s heraldic device that identified him when dressed in full armor. For a bishop, the coat of arms traditionally symbolized his jurisdiction and the nobility of his office in the Church.

Bishop Roger Foys’ Coat of Arms combines a design of his own choosing with the coat of arms of the Diocese of Covington. The diocesan design on the left hand side of the shield was commissioned by Bishop William T. Mulloy following the 1953 elevation of Covington’s Cathedral to the status of a minor basilica.

Imposed on the blue upper portion is a gold fleur-de-lis set within the arms of a silver crescent moon. Both are symbols of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their juxtaposition in this fashion indicates her Assumption, or, as the artist conceived it, "the Blessed Virgin elevated above the sub-lunary world." It is under this aspect that Mary is Patroness of the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption. Below it is a red cross on a white field. Pointing upward on the vertical beam of the cross is a gold sword, the symbol of St. Paul, Patron of the Diocese of Covington.

The right hand side of the shield represents Bishop Foys’ life and ministry in the Diocese of Stuebenville, as well as his hopes for his episcopal service to the Diocese of Covington. The Bishop’s personal half of the shield is divided into blue and red quadrants. A white fleur-de-lis, a symbol not only of Mary in this instance, but of the Cistercian Order and Blessed Roger Ellant (a Cistercian abbot of the twelfth century) as well, adorns the upper half. The lower half is graced by a white lily, signifying St. Joseph. By these two symbols the baptismal patrons of Bishop Foys are represented. The red, white and blue colors also honor his Slovenian heritage. Above the shield is a gold processional cross surmounted by a green pontifical hat called a gallero. The cross and the hat with six tassels on either side portray the rank of a bishop.

The Latin phrase on the scroll beneath the shield, "Let your light shine," (Matt. 5: 16) is the episcopal motto by which Bishop Foys will guide the Diocese of Covington in the years ahead.

The present Arms of the Diocese of Covington were devised in 1956 by Dom William Wilfrid Bayne, O.S.B. (1893-1974), St. Gregory Abbey, Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The personal Arms of Bishop Foys were devised by A.W.C. Phelps, Cleveland, Ohio, in consultation with the Most Reverend Roger Joseph Foys, D.D., June 1, 2002.


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