Cronin's Coat of Arms
BLAZON: Arms impaled. Dexter: Gules, a hart Or, bearing the Paschal
banner Proper, the staff paleways of the second, and trippant over
a ford barry wavy of six Argent and Azure. Sinister: Gules, a lion
rampant Argent, holding in the fore paws a Latin cross fleury Or,
on a chief of the same a dove regardant Proper, holding in the
beak an olive branch Vert, between two fleur-de-lis Azure.
The archepiscopal heraldic achievement, or as it is more commonly
known, the archbishop's coat of arms, is composed of a shield,
with its charges, a motto scroll and the external ornaments.
The shield, which is the central and most important feature of
any heraldic device, is described (blazoned) in the 12th century
terms as if it were being worn on the arm and is being viewed
from the rear. Thus, it must be understood that the terms dexter
and sinister are reversed as the design is being viewed from
By heraldic tradition, the arms of an archbishop, or bishop of
a diocese, are joined (impaled) with the arms of his jurisdiction,
seen in the Dexter impalement (left side) of the shield, in this
case these are the arms of the Archdiocese of Hartford.
In the sinister impalement (right side) of the device, are the
personal arms of Archbishop Cronin, that were adopted at the time
of his selection to receive the fullness of Christ's most holy
Priesthood, as Auxiliary Bishop of Boston and which were retained
during his tenure as Bishop of Fall River, Massachusetts.
These arms are composed of a red field on which is seen a silver
(white) lion rampant, to honor the Archbishop's baptismal patron,
Daniel, the prophet in the Old Testament. The lion holds in his
front paws a golden cross fleury which is taken from the arms of
the Archdiocese of Boston, where Archbishop Cronin was born, baptized,
confirmed and received his episcopal ordination in Holy Cross Cathedral.
The upper portion of these arms, known as a "chief," is
gold (yellow) and displays symbols of the three Popes that the
Archbishop served during his time as Secretary to the Apostolic
Internunciature in Ethiopia and in the Secretariat of State at
the Vatican. The dove holding the olive branch is from the arms
of Pope Pius XII and the fleur-de-lis are from the arms of Pope
John XXIII and Pope Paul VI.
For his motto, His Excellency employs the phrase "AD OBOEDIENDUM
FIDEI," which is Latin and is taken from Saint Paul's Epistle
to the Romans (1:5). Its translation, "For obedience of Faith," expresses
the Archbishop's belief that each of us is necessarily bound to
be obedient to Christ, His teachings and His Church, by virtue
of our Faith in Him.
The device is completed with the external ornaments which are
a gold archepiscopal (two cross members) processional cross, which
is placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below
the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a gallero, with its ten
tassels, in four rows, on either side of the shield, all in green.
These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of archbishop,
by instruction of The Holy See of March 31, 1969.
By: Paul J. Sullivan, P. Sullivan & Co., Narragansett, Rhode