|Coat of Arms|
Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms of His Excellency,
the Most Reverend Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., D.D.
Archbishop of Denver
Arms impaled. Dexter: Gules a Latin cross Argent, interlaced at the conjunction a crescent of the second. Sinister: Azure, upon a feather erect Or, issuant from dexter and sinister two hands clasped Argent; issuant from a barlet, at the honour point, of the second two arms in saltair of the third, the one toward sinister garbed of the same and each hand pierced of the field, both upon a Tau of the second.
The archiepiscopal heraldic achievement, or the archbishop`s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, with its charges (symbols), a motto scroll and the external ornaments. The shield, which is the central and most important feature of any heraldic device, is described (blazoned) in 12th century terms that are archaic to our modern language, and this description is done as if being given by the bearer with the shield being worn on the arm. Thus, it must be remembered, where it applies, that the terms dexter and sinister are reversed as the device is viewed from the front.
By heraldic tradition, the arms of the bishop or archbishop of a diocese are joined to the arms of his jurisdiction, in this case the Archdiocese of Denver.
These arms are composed of a red field, which is employed to honor the Spanish heritage of the area and because the Spanish word for red, one of the dominant Hispanic colors, is "colorado." On this field is placed a silver (white) Latin cross of the Faith, and this charge is used to additionally signify the natural ice formation outside the City of Denver, on the Mount of the Holy Cross, because the ice formation is naturally in the shape of a cross.
Interlaced at the center of the cross is a silver (white) crescent to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, in her title of the Immaculate Conception, titular of the Cathedral in Denver.
For his personal arms, His Excellency Archbishop Chaput has retained the design that was adopted at the time of his selection to receive the fullness of Christ`s Most Holy Priesthood, when he was named Bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City South Dakota.
The background of the design, called the field, is blue. This color is taken from the Royal Arms of France, and it is employed to signify the Archbishop's direct heritage to Louis IX, sainted King of France. On this field is seen an erect, golden (yellow) feather to honor the importance of the Native American heritage (Potawatomi Tribe) of the Archbishop`s mother, Marian DeMarais Chaput. Seen on the feather are two silver (white) clasped hands, taken from the Chaput family device. By the use of these hands, the international sign of peace and greeting, His Excellency not only honors the heritage of his father, Joseph, but he also brings the greetings of Christ`s Peace to all mankind.
At a point one-third of the way from the top of the Archbishop's personal device is a gold barlet. This signifies the Republican River, at the place of the Archbishop`s birth, Concordia, Kansas. Coming forth from this barlet are the gold Tau Cross and the silver crossed arms, with pierced hands of Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi. This is the classic symbol to represent the Capuchin Franciscans, the Archbishop's religious order.
For his motto, His Excellency, Archbishop Chaput, has retained the phrase "AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH." This phrase is taken from St. Paul`s Epistle to the Ephesians (5:25). By the use of this phrase, Archbishop Chaput expresses the same sentiment for himself that St. Paul attributed to Christ. Each of them so loves the Church that he will give himself completely for her.
The device is completed with the external ornaments of a gold processional cross that has two cross members, called an archiepiscopal cross, placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a "gallero", with its ten tassels in four rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of archbishop by instruction of the holy See of March 31, 1969
By: Deacon Paul J. Sullivan
Diocese of Providence