22 February 2007

A new coat of arms

Some months back I contacted Father Guy Selvester about designing a new coat of arms. The image to the left is the result of our conversations. I am very pleased with it!The blazon (heralidc description) and explanation of the coat of arms that Fr. Selvester provided reads as follows:

"Blazon: Vert, on a cross raguly Or five drops of blood, one each at the extremities of the cross and at the fess point all Gules; in dexter chief a lamb’s head erased Argent and in sinister base a garb of wheat Or. The shield is ensigned by a priest’s galero with cords and one tassel pendant on either side of the shield all Sable. On a scroll below the shield the motto: “Levate Crucem Sublime”.

"Explanation: The coat of arms of the Reverend Daren Zehnle of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois reflects his personal preferences, spirituality and devotions.The main tincture of the field is green, the armiger’s personal favorite. The main charge is the cross of Christ in the form known as raguly. This is a stylized depiction of the so-called rugged cross. That is to say, the cross as it actually is: an instrument of suffering and the tree of life. The cross is decorated with five red drops of blood at its center and extremities. These drops of blood allude to the five wounds of Christ. However, they are placed here as a reference to St. Francis of Assisi to whom the armiger is devoted. St. Francis bore the stigmata in his body while he lived here on Earth.

The basis of the armiger’s life and priestly ministry is the Paschal Mystery: the suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God. In the upper left is a silver (white) lamb’s head representing the Christ and in the lower right a gold (yellow) garb of wheat alluding to the bread of life, the Eucharist, in which Catholic Christians participate in the Paschal Mystery.

"In place of the rather martial helmet, mantling and crest Fr. Zehnle’s arms are ensigned by the black ecclesiastical hat called a galero. The hats differ in color and number of tassels depending on the rank of the armiger. A priest’s hat is always black with one tassel pendant on either side of the shield. The motto, 'Levate Crucem Sublime' is translated, 'Lift High the Cross'."

I might add that the cross raguly represents difficulties that have been encountered and the lamb also serves to represent patience and gentleness in suffering. The garb of wheat also recalls John 12:24. The vert (green) represents hope, joy and loyalty in love. The or (gold) represents the generosity of Christ displayed on the Cross.


  1. Very well done. It says a lot without getting too busy. Excellent motto. My great-grandmother's family motto was "commit thy work unto God". Too bad there weren't more like that.

  2. Your coat of arms should fly on a banner outside of the Diocesan War Room.

  3. Thanks!

    I think probably the Bishop's coat of arms should hang outside the room...