Coat of Arms of
His Excellency, the Most Reverend
Archbishop of San Antonio
The Coat of Arms on the viewers’ right panel symbolizes the main thrust of the Archbishop’s ministry.
The upper image of the Holy Spirit surrounded by flames and encased in a green background symbolizes Christ’s creative power through the Spirit that saved Chicago (the Archbishop’s first Episcopal ministry) from annihilation during the great fires of 1871. Christ’s love is the hope of the world (green background) as the gifts of the Spirit are at work transforming the world through the work of evangelization.
The lower symbol – the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe who is the lodestar of the first and new evangelization and the beloved Mother of America as her eyes look upon the Archdiocese of San Antonio with all her love, compassion and protection bringing everyone together into one family.
The Episcopal motto at the bottom expressed in Spanish – English – Spanish – symbolizes the diversity of languages that express the one message of Christ: the dynamic love of God that transforms the world and harmonizes differences into a beautiful unity that only the Holy Spirit can create.
The Coat of Arms on the viewers’ left panel is the insignia of the Archdiocese of San Antonio showing the large cross of Christian faith with its center enlarged and squared to receive the cross peculiar to St. Anthony, called by heralds the TAU cross because of its resemblance to the Greek letter of that name. It is
derived from the short crutch that the saint slipped under one arm to support his tired body during long vigils. Above is the “Lone Star” of the State of Texas.
The Episcopal shield is completed with the external ornaments consisting of a gold processional cross, which is placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a “gallero,” with four rows of green tassels on either side of the shield. These are the heraldic insignia of a relate of the rank of Archbishop by instruction of The Holy See of March 31,1969.