Lord, I never wanted to be separated from You.

Coat of Arms of Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, DD

The coat of arms of His Excellency Most Reverend Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, has two sides. The left side represents the coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Manila. The right side represents the personal coat of arms of the Archbishop.

On the upper left (red) side, the tower of Castille portrays the Almighty God, He who is called in Psalm 60, “My shelter, a strong tower against the enemy.” The three windows in the figure of the tower signify the Three Divine Persons. To its right is a Crescent, the symbol of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Archdiocese of Manila.

On the lower left (blue) side, a sea lion engarde holding a pilgrim’s cross on its right represents the origin of Christianity through the evangelization of the Philippines by the Spaniards and the Philippines’ role in Christianizing the Orient. Manila played a key role in the development of faith for the whole of the Philippine archipelago. The sea lion itself is the symbol of the Philippines.

On the right, which represents the coat of arms of the Archbishop, there are three levels.

The top level contains the image of the Good Shepherd. It tells of the centrality of Jesus in the Episcopal ministry of the Archbishop. He who directs the catch of fish is also the Shepherd who goes before his sheep (Jn 10:4) and lays down his life for them (Jn 10:15). The figure also calls to mind the diocesan seminary of Imus, Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol, that the Archbishop served cumulatively for twenty-two years as rector.

In the top level, there is also an open Bible. The living Word is the ultimate rule of life and service of the Archbishop. He pays tribute to all those who taught him to love the Word of God, especially his family, teachers, students, and the poor. It also stands for his ministry as a theology teacher, a servant of the Word. But more than just being a teacher of the Word, the Archbishop hopes to live by Jesus, the Incarnate Word, so that through his person and service, many may come to know, love and serve the Living Lord.

On the middle and the bottom levels are symbols of two persons who, upon discerning the will of God, made Jesus the center of their lives. The middle level depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom the Archbishop is devoted under her title of Our Lady of the Pillar, patroness of the Cathedral Parish and Diocese of Imus. The bottom level refers to St. Joseph, the just man and worker, to whom the town of Imus and the Archbishop is devoted. He is the patron San Jose Seminary where he underwent priestly formation.

The motto of the Archbishop is taken from John 21:7, “It is the Lord” (Dominus Est!). Following Peter’s initiative, the disciples went fishing but that night caught nothing. When the risen Lord, unrecognized by them, directed their fishing, they had a bountiful catch. Thereupon the beloved disciple said, “It is the Lord!” The motto conveys the Archbishop’s conviction that the Lord must direct his mission. So he entrusts the care of the Archdiocese to Him. The Archbishop’s modest role is to discern His voice, to follow his bidding, and to end every fruitful endeavour in a loving prayer and of recognition and adoration of the Lord.

source: rcam.org

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