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Scots Catholic

Calling Scotland's 841,000 Catholics to unite as one voice

Pope Francis chooses Coat of Arms and Motto ahead of Inauguration

Pope Francis has selected the design for his coat of arms and has also decided on his personal motto ahead of his inauguration at the Vatican on Tuesday.

The shield is blue and surmounted by symbold of papal dignity; that is the miter placed between the crossed keys and a red cord. It is the same symbolism used by Pope Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus. At the top of the shield design sits the emblem of the order of the Society of Jesus which includes the IHS monogram of Christ. There is also the Cross and three nails lying below it; the three nails used to crucify Christ.

The star below is believed to symbolise Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church. And the flower of nard is a symbol of St Joseph. It appears, that the new Holy Father is suggesting the importance not only of Jesus, Mary and Joseph individually but also collectively; that is, the Holy Family.

The Pope's motto, 'Miserable atque eligendo' which means 'by having mercy, by choosing him'. This is believed to be a direct reference to Jesus seeing the tax collecter and having mercy on him, telling him to 'follow me'.

The inauguration of our new Pope is bound to be a most wonderful occasion not only for the Pope and those lucky enough to be present, but also for the whole Church throughout the world. Let us pray for him and for each other.

by Anthony Horan