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Francis, H. H. Pope 3
Vatican City, 18 March 2013 (VIS) – In the press conference that day, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Press Office of the Holy See, focused on two themes: Pope Francis' first audiences and details of the Mass inaugurating the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome.

Papal Coat of Arms:
The last topic that Fr. Lombardi covered was the now pontiff's papal coat of arms and motto. These are the same that he used as bishop.

Arms: Azure on a sun in splendour Or the IHS Christogram ensigned with a cross paty fitchy piercing the H Gules all above three nails fanwise points to centre Sable, and in dexter base a mullet of eight points and in sinister base a spikenard flower Or. *

What distinguishes his coat of arms as pontiff is that, instead of the wide-brimmed, red cardinal's hat atop the shield, it is now crowned by the papal tiara and crossed keys

His motto—“miserando atque eligendo” (because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him)—is taken from the Venerable Bede's homily on the Gospel account of the call of Matthew. It holds special meaning for the Pope because—when he was only 17-years-old, after going to confession on the Feast of St. Matthew in 1953—he perceived God's mercy in his life and felt the call to the priesthood, following the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Roman News Quote copied from HSS Member Richard d’Apice’s posting of 0203 Hrs AM, 19 March 2013 in the HSS Forum Topic “Arms of the new Pope” in the Ecclesiastical Section of the HSS Forum

* Blazon provided courtesy of J.H. Gaylor

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor.

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