|The Most Reverend David J. Malloy
D.D., J.C.L., S.T.D.
Ninth Bishop Of Rockford
Coat of Arms:
In accordance with the heraldic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, the Episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of:
- A shield with its charges (symbols) coming from family, geographic, religious and historical meanings and/or referring to the name of the Bishop
- A golden processional cross, with one traversal bar, to represent the rank of the Bishop, “impaled” (vertically) behind the shield
- A wide-brimmed green pilgrim’s hat (galero) with 12 attached tassels, (six on each side, with one in the top row, two in the second and three on the bottom)
- A scroll with the Bishop’s motto, written generally in black and appearing below everything
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. 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.
For his shield, Bishop Malloy has chosen a gothic shape, frequently used in Roman Catholic Church heraldry, and a processional bottony cross with five red gemstones to represent the five Wounds of Christ.
Motto: FIDES SPES CARITAS
The words of the motto chosen by Bishop Malloy, “FIDES SPES CARITAS,” (in English: FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY) are the three Theological Virtues, that Bishop malloy wishes to be the basis of his pastoral program.
Arms impaled. Dexter: azure, a Latin cross argent issuing from a mount or, debruising three wavy barrulets surmounted by a crescent in dexter chief, all of the first. Sinister: party per fess; in first or, a lily proper in bend sinister; in second vert, a chevron argent, charged with three trefoils gules.
On the right side of the shield (the observer’s left, since on the heraldic shield, the right and the left need to be considered from the perspective of the soldier who, in ancient times, held his own shield) there is the Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Rockford. The personal coat of arms of Bishop Malloy is on the left side.
In the upper quadrant there is a lily, a symbol which always represents purity and virginity. Here it refers to Mary the Mother of God and her title of the Immaculate Conception, under which she is the Patroness of the United States and of the Diocese of Rockford.
In the lower quadrant there is what in heraldry is called “cadency” or “brisure.” In ancient times cadency (or “brisure”) was any systematic way of distinguishing similar coats of arms, even of different families whose members marry with the members of the principal family. In modern heraldry, this particular procedure is also adopted to combine symbols belonging to different families’ coats of arms, into a single coat of arms. Here there are the red (“gules”) trefoils of the Malloy coat of arms on the silver (“argent”) chevron which appears on the Flood coat of arms that belongs to the maternal lineage associated with Bishop Malloy. Both of these symbols clearly refer to religious themes. The trefoil or shamrock, is the symbol of Irish people because of Saint Patrick, Patron of Ireland. The Saint explained the concept of Holy Trinity to the people by using the trefoil. The chevron (the inverted V shape figure of the other symbol) recalls the roof of the building where the people would gather. For Christians this building is the church.