The Crest and Seal of the Diocese of St. Bernard of Clairvaux
The crest’s symbols are marked by linear simplicity and include the Cross of St. George, to represent our Bishop.
The Episcopal Mitre is proper in design with one horizontal “stripe” and the lappets are shorter in length and placed properly over the top edge of the shield.
The gold roundels along the border represent tambourines, symbols of Miriam, the sister of Moses and the name of our Cathedral Parish.
Blue and yellow not only cover the colors of the flags of the three states initially contained within our Diocese – the gold/yellow of New Jersey, and the blue of both New York and Pennsylvania, but blue also represents a bishop’s dignity. A reference to their spirit of seeking justice that is inherent within the framework of our Diocese.
The lower, left portion of the primary shield contains a segment of the Coat of Arms of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the founder and abbot of the Abbey of Clairvaux. St. Bernard (1091-1153) was centrally responsible for the early expansion of the Cistercian Order throughout Europe and was considered a reformer of the Church. Tens of thousands heard his powerful preaching, and he personally attracted and helped many hundreds of men to follow a call to monastic life. Canonized in 1174 by Pope Alexander VIII and made doctor of the church by Pope Pius VIII in 1826, St. Bernard stands as one of the giants of the Christian spiritual and theological heritage, and his writings represent a peak in monastic theology and spirituality. His feast day is August 20th and is honored in our Diocese on the Sunday closest to the actual date.
The lower, right segment of the crest includes a portion of coat of arms of Pennsylvania, where the Diocesan Cathedral and Bishop are located. It is adorned with two symbols of Pennsylvania’s strengths: An olive branch and cornstalk cross limbs — symbols of peace and prosperity. A nod, too, to the agricultural tradition of New Jersey.
It is tradition that the Bishop’s personal crest picks up some part of the Diocesan Crest. We honor this tradition with the presence of the Saint George flag, on both seals, as well as the rounds of Miriam being present in both designs.
Finally, the motto for the Diocese is “Deus meus et Omnia” and translated into english it reads, “My God and My All”, a nod to St. Francis and our Bishop’s Franciscan heritage as a Friar.