Coat of Arms
Blazon: Arms impaled; To the dexter, Azure a pelican in her piety between three magnolia blossoms, two in chief and one in base all Argent, on a chief Gules three fleur de lis in fess Or; To the sinister, Azure between in chief a monogram of the Blessed Virgin Mary Argent and in base a globe Argent depicting the continents of the Western Hemisphere Vert surmounted by a cross Or, on a fess Gules a crosier fesswise Or. Ensigned with a patriarchal cross in pale behind the shield Or and a galero with cords and twenty tassels disposed on either side of the shield in four rows of one, two, three and four all Vert. On a scroll below the shield the motto, 'God Is Faithful'.
Explanation: It is customary in North America for the coat of arms of the bishop and those of his (arch)diocese to be marshaled together and depicted on the same shield. The coat of arms of Archbishop Aymond and the Archdiocese of New Orleans are displayed side by side. This is called impaling the arms. In addition to being the most common method used in North America, it is also one of the ways to depict the coats of arms of two spouses. Using impalement is one of the ways that the Archbishop shows he is 'married' to his archdiocese.
The left side of the shield includes the charges of the Archdiocese. It contains a pelican, magnolias, and fleur de lis. The pelican, heraldically described as 'in her piety', is the state bird of Louisiana as well as a Christian symbol of redemption and the Eucharist. The magnolia is also an emblem of the Pelican State and is indicative of her deep South heritage. In stylized heraldic art these flowers appear as triangles which suggest the Holy Trinity (as does their being three in number) and the Crescent City's location at the Mississippi Delta. The basic color of the field is blue for the Blessed Mother who is the 'dawn of our salvation'. The red heraldic 'chief' represents the blood and faithful witness of the martyrs and is 'charged' with three French lilies significant of the Most Blessed Trinity and recalling the French heritage of Louisiana.
The right side of the shield depicts the personal arms of Archbishop Aymond. He adopted these at the time he became a bishop and has slightly modified the original design upon having been appointed to New Orleans. The field of the arms is blue recalling the background of the coat of arms of his native archdiocese, New Orleans, and is also the color most often associated with devotion to Our Lady. Marian devotion is again alluded to in the monogram for Mary at the top of the shield. This also recalls the years the Archbishop spent teaching and serving as rector of Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. The globe surmounted by a cross in the lower part of the shield alludes to the work the Archbishop did as Archdiocesan Director for the Society of the Propagation of the Faith. The red fess charged with a bishop’s pastoral staff recalls his patron saint, St. Gregory, whose seminal work, the 'Liber Regulae Pastoralis' or 'Regula Pastoralis' (The Book of the Pastoral Rule), is a treatise on the responsibilities of the clergy and in particular the manner in which bishops should exercise their ministry.
The Archbishop’s motto is depicted below the shield on a scroll and it reads, 'God Is Faithful'. It is taken from the First Letter to the Corinthians 1:9.
The shield is ensigned with a gold patriarchal cross with two horizontal bars. In heraldry the cross behind the shield is the true emblem of episcopal heraldry. The patriarchal, or metropolitical, cross developed as a way of distinguishing the cross used for archbishops from that used for bishops. In addition, above the shield is the green ecclesiastical hat called a 'galero' with twenty tassels pendant. This broad brimmed hat, once worn in cavalcades, is no longer used but remains as a heraldic emblem. The original color worn by bishops and archbishops was green, not purple. This 'episcopal color' is retained in heraldry. These external ornaments are those used for a prelate with the rank of Archbishop according to the Instruction of the Holy See, 'Ut Sive', of March, 1969.
Archbishop Aymond's original coat of arms was redesigned, marshaled to those of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and emblazoned by the Rev. Fr. Guy W. Selvester, a priest of the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ and Rector of the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Raritan, NJ.