Blazon (description in heraldic terms)

Or, a cross pommé Azure, surmounted of a closed book Sable, embellished Or, thereon a sun in splendor also Or, inscribed with the Christological monogram « IHS » Sable. On a chief Gules a Celtic triquetra Or, Impaled with the Arms of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse in New York

Motto: In the Name of Jesus

Across the top of some coat of arms designs appears a device, or field, known as a Chief. Bishop Lucia desired his homage to the Blessed Trinity to find a home in this space. The chosen tincture for the chief is red, the color associated with the zeal and fervor of Saint Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers. Bishop Lucia wished to include homage to Saint Dominic because he is to be consecrated a bishop on his feast day (8 August) and also because he intends to exude similar zeal in his new ministry in Syracuse.

Upon this red field is placed the golden Triquetra, one of only a few approved emblems for the Blessed Trinity in Catholic heraldic design. Gold is the metal reserved in Catholic heraldry to represent purity and also the divinity and the perfection of God and so it was most appropriate for use in this special Trinitarian homage. A particular “Irish Knot” adaptation of the Triquetra was selected as a subtle, secondary way to honor Saint Patrick of Ireland, Bishop Lucia’s birth patron.

Below this field of tribute is the main portion of Bishop Lucia’s coat of arms. This field is likewise rendered in pure gold to continue the honor to Almighty God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Placed upon this gold field is a new charge (emblem) specifically designed for Bishop Lucia, which he requested as homage to the Diocese of Ogdensburg. The arrow loop — a narrow window of a castle tower through which defensive arrows and crossbow bolts could be fired in troubled times — was adopted from the castle tower that appears most prominently in the diocesan arms of Ogdensburg.

In Catholic heraldry, a new bishop, translated to a new see, is not permitted to assume a greater part of the heraldic design of his former diocese’s coat of arms as these arms form the seal of the bishop of that place. One small item, however, is permitted as a salutation to the new bishop’s former home. The arrow loop device was perfect for this homage.

In heraldry this specific shape of cross is known as the Cross Pommé. Herein, it is worked in deep blue, the color symbolic of philosophy and thus symbolic of the teaching authority of the episcopacy. Placed upon the cross in this design is a book of Sacred Scripture, worked in black to suggest leather. The book is embellished in gold and upon its cover appears a sunburst known in heraldry as a sun in splendor. This is worked in gold as is proper. The sun in this design is a pun of sorts. It has been placed here as tribute to the Lucia family; the Lucia surname translating in English to light. Upon this sun appears the Christological monogram « I H S ». The initials of this special monogram represent the written name of Jesus which St. Bernardine of Siena (d.1444) later extrapolated to also mean “Jesus, Savior of Men.”

By adding this central tribute to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Bishop Lucia reminds the viewer of his coat of arms design that Jesus is the Light of the World, the true source of brilliant light, energy and eternal life in whose name everything exists and flourishes. The bishop’s personal arms are impaled with those of the Diocese of Syracuse.

The external elements include the pilgrim’s hat, or galero, in deep green, the true color of the Office of Bishop. Six tassels, or fiocchi, suspend on either side of the hat and the interior of the hat is worked in scarlet to represent martyrdom. An episcopal cross with a single cross-arm rises above and behind the shield. At the terminus of each arm is found a fleur de lys, the heraldic flower reserved for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bishop Lucia’s mother’s family arms include a fleur de lys. At the center of this cross, known as a Cross Fleury, is found a large emerald, paying further homage to St. Patrick of Ireland.

Designed by James-Charles Noonan, Jr., a well-known Church Historian and ecclesiastical protocolist as well as one of the most famous ecclesial heraldists at work today. Linda Nicholson paints the heraldic arms and is a Craft Painter of the Society of Heraldic Arts in England.

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