Preaching Heraldry

 
Donnchadh
 
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Donnchadh
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08 December 2008 01:54
 

Frank Martinoff;65021 wrote:

Let’s go on!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Escut_Ludza.png

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Großes_wappen_riga_1923.png

 

wink

And this in 3 minutes!

OK. Thank you Frank. You found two in 3 minutes. Cool. But, what is the history of the places they represent? Are they places associated with Christianity, the Church, a (arch)diocese, etc. First, though, where are these arms to?

 
Donnchadh
 
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Donnchadh
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08 December 2008 01:57
 

gselvester;65027 wrote:

Last Sunday the readings at mass for the Second Sunday of Advent included the prophecy of Isaiah which says:

"Go up on to a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God!"

 

and the part of Marks gospel discussing St. John the Baptist who, I have long contended, should be (along with the Archangel Gabriel) a patron saint of heralds and heraldists which says:

 

"As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."

 

Needless to say I was able really to go to town in preaching about these. I don’t post these for their religious/theological significance but because of their use of the imagery and function of a herald. My congregation got a crash course in what a herald is this morning!


Did you get many questions after mass? Did they seem interested in heraldry outside of the homily? I’m sure it was great, so please don’t misread my question. I’m just curious if it ‘touched’ them in some way…enough to approach you afterward and ask more questions.

 
Michael Y. Medvedev
 
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Michael Y. Medvedev
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08 December 2008 03:42
 

Donnchadh;65029 wrote:

OK. Thank you Frank. You found two in 3 minutes. Cool. But, what is the history of the places they represent? Are they places associated with Christianity, the Church, a (arch)diocese, etc. First, though, where are these arms to?

These two Latvian municipal coats are of obvious religious provenance. Riga is the center of an old and glorious Archbishopric. Ludza’s arms imply the reference to St. Peter and St. Paul as the local patrons.

Alexander’s initial definition was unsatisfactorily broad but his essential opinion (re. the cross-shaped "beard" being rather non-typical for non-Christian armory) may be correct.

 
Alexander Liptak
 
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Alexander Liptak
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08 December 2008 03:54
 

I do suppose if a person researches and copies from previous examples of heraldry, that a non religious man could come up with wards with crosses within.  This still resulted from copying a key from a religious work undoubtedly.

There is no blazon that requires the keys of the Pope to have crosses in ward, yet has come up as custom.  Here, even Pope Innocent’s VIII (of the late 15th century) achievement lacking crosses in the wards.

 

http://www.christusrex.org/www1/vaticano/Mb1-Arms.jpg

 

So let me revise my statement then, and say that other than the Popes and men of a religious nature, that ward showing crosses are uncommon unless an artist copies keys from heraldic works of Popes and men of a religious nature without knowledge or purpose for the wards showing crosses.

 
Michael Y. Medvedev
 
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08 December 2008 04:17
 

Regarding the Papal heraldic keys as such, it is useful to recall the arms of the Vatican as established in 2000/2001 (“Legge Fondamentale dello Stato della Cittа del Vaticano” approved by the late Pope in 2000 and effective since 2001). The law contains the following blazon: “di rosso alle chiavi pontificie, una d’oro e l’altra d’argento, decussate, addossate, con gli ingegni traforati in forma di croce in alto, rivolti verso i lati dello scudo e legate da un cordone rosso, terminate in nappe dello stesso; timbrate dal triregno papale d’argento, con applicate tre corone d’oro, cimato da un piccolo globo sostenente una crocetta dello stesso, foderato di rosso; dal triregno pendono due infule d’argento, frangiate d’oro e caricate ciascuna da crocette d’oro, che avvolgono le chiavi”. The wards are specifically blazoned as having cross-shaped "cuts".

This blazon is quite restrictive, banning not only other forms of wards, but also extra crosses on the infulae, coloured gems on the coronets, and globe Az. The old (although not really stable) custom of emblazoning cords Or when in the field Gu, and Gu if shewn without the field (as on flag) is also abandoned. What is more, the law leaves no place for adorning (facultatively) the dexter key with Argent and the sinister with Or which is nevertheless still practicised.

Actually, as far as I understand, the said Law defines the State arms and not the arms of the Holy See (which since then may be regarded as a separate heraldic object), and thus - if we are going as pedantic as the law itself - is not binding as far as it goes about the keys in the arms of Popes.

 
Joseph McMillan
 
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Joseph McMillan
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08 December 2008 07:14
 

Michael Y. Medvedev;65033 wrote:

Alexander’s initial definition was unsatisfactorily broad but his essential opinion (re. the cross-shaped "beard" being rather non-typical for non-Christian armory) may be correct.


For all practical purposes, heraldry as we know it is historically a phenomenon of the Christian world.  So of course the vast majority of keys with crosses worked into either the wards or the handles will pertain to people or communities that are at least nominally Christian.  Alexander’s assertion was that having a cross worked into the ward was peculiarly papal, and that the use of this motif other than in the arms of a priest "unless for a priest of some sort, or [some other] strictly religious man" was unusual.  As Frank and I have shown, this is not the case.  Yes, the artists emblazoning the arms he and I have cited may have intended an allusion to Christianity.  But that’s an entirely different thing from suggesting that this type of key is limited to strictly religious use.

 

In just a few minutes of searching Schluessel (key) and Wappen (arms) I found not only these but many other examples.  The forum allows only four images per post, so I stopped at four.  But I also Googled clef and armoiries and found a similar result—lots of examples of cross-shaped wards.  If we add the number of crosses in the handles of keys, the number is even higher.

 

Anyone who doesn’t like the sharp tone should refrain from posting statements on what’s usual and unusual without factual substantiation.

 

(Fr. Guy:  I understand that I contributed to hijacking your thread, and would be happy if one of the moderators would move the offending material to a new thread.)

 
Alexander Liptak
 
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08 December 2008 18:43
 

My apologies for a poorly written post three months ago.  I have clarified my statement above.

 
Donnchadh
 
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09 December 2008 13:42
 

Michael Y. Medvedev;65033 wrote:

These two Latvian municipal coats are of obvious religious provenance. Riga is the center of an old and glorious Archbishopric. Ludza’s arms imply the reference to St. Peter and St. Paul as the local patrons.

Alexander’s initial definition was unsatisfactorily broad but his essential opinion (re. the cross-shaped "beard" being rather non-typical for non-Christian armory) may be correct.

Cool. Thank you Michael. I figured it had this sort of history behind it, but you never know.

I agree that most of the heraldry of European cities could have this sort of history to them for as some have said that Christianity and early heraldry usually seem to be connected. But, I know that is not always the case.

 

In Irish civic armory as can be viewed at that wonderful civic heraldry site one does not see it as much as one would expect from the land of ‘saints and scholars’ be it in Irish Ireland or in Northern Ireland. We had so many bishop-kings and abbot-kings (who eventually became one of our 200 plus saints) where settlements later sprang up that one would think there would be some sort of nod to that, but not as much really. There are some, but it really could be a lot more. Industry or famous man made or natural feature figure more so. Cashel seems to be a clear case of this. Instead of the open, clear religious symbolism that could have been used its achievement is simply a castle (cashel) on a green field. In this case it is only quietly a religious based coat of arms and then only to people who would know the history of Cashel itself. Oh well.

 
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