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Vatican releases Pope Francis' coat of arms, motto and ring

The Telegraph - Wed, Mar 20th 2013



Pope Francis will mix his Argentine past with his Roman present to create his new papal coat of arms.


The Vatican said that neither Pope Francis' papal ring nor his coat of arms will be ornate 

The Vatican said that neither his papal ring nor his coat of arms will be ornate. The coat of arms is the same one he used archbishop of Buenos Aires, with the addition of the papal symbols of a bishops' miter and gold and silver-crossed keys.

A gold star representing the Virgin Mary, and the nardo, a grape-like plant with which St Joseph is often represented, are painted on a bright blue background. Above them is the emblem of Francis' Jesuit order. Together the three represent Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

The papal ring is in gold-plated silver and was originally offered to Paul VI in the 1960's.

The Vatican also unveiled the coat of arms and motto Francis will use - which remain the same as those he used as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

The coat of arms shows three symbols on a blue background: at the top, a sun with the letters IHS in the middle - the logo of the Jesuit Society - and underneath a five-point star and a lily, symbolising the Virgin Mary and St Joseph.

The Latin motto beneath the crest is "miserando atque eligendo" - which refers to a Bible passage showing Jesus Christ's "mercy" in choosing Matthew, a tax collector, to be one of his disciples.

"The motto recalls Pope Francis's personal vocation and he wanted to keep it," Fr Lombardi said.

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