If I may, I would like to share the newly-assumed arms of a very good friend of mine - Fr. Christopher Butera - a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown, who is currently serving as a Chaplain in the US Army, presently stationed in Ansbach, Bavaria.
I was not involved in the design, as Chris was able to work directly with Marco Foppoli (well-known to those assembled here).
I find the design to be completely superlative!
Interesting design, most excellent execution!
What’s the intended symbolism, especially for the dragon?
And thanks to your friend for his service as a military chaplain - IMO and experience in Vietnam, as a group a (IMO the) most challenging and admirable ministry.
The good padre is still drafting his "design rationale", but this is what he posted about his motto:
My motto "TERRIBILIS APPAREAT ADVERSARIIS" is a shortened version of the phrase "Terribilis Appareat Adversariis Veritatis" with the "Veritatis" understood and translates as: "That he might appear terrible to the adversaries of the Truth."
I’ve taken the phrase from the blessing of a Bishop’s Mitre as it is imposed upon him from the Extraordinary Form of the Rite for the consecration of a Bishop.
I have provided the entire prayer below for your edification in Latin and my own translation (any errors are my own). As you can see, it is a pretty awesome prayer as it emphasizes the power of God’s Word, the unique calling and authority of the Bishop as High Priest, how we are indeed the Church Militant, and finally how the enemies of the Most Hight God should tremble and be terrified at the Truth, i.e., Jesus Christ.
Imponimus, Domine, capiti hujus Antistitis et agonistae tui galeam munitionis et salutis, quatenus decorata facie, et armato capite, cornibus utriusque Testamenti terribilis appareat adversariis veritatis; et, te ei largiente gratiam, impugnator eorum robustus exsistat, qui Moysi famuli tui faciem ex tui sermonis consortio decoratam, lucidissimis tuae claritatis ac veritatis cornibus insignisti: et capiti Aaron Pontificis tui tiaram imponi jussisti. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
We place, O Lord, the helmet of your fortification and salvation, upon the head of this Bishop, your combatant, with beauty adorned, and head armored, so that with the horns of each Testament he might appear terrible to the adversaries of truth; and, with You having lavished grace upon him, that he stand out as their valiant attacker, You who marked the face of Your servant Moses, embellished from the partnership of Your word, with the most shining horns (trumpets) of your clarity and truth: and You ordered a crown be placed on the head of Aaron your high priest. Through Christ Our Lord.
In smoother English, the prayer goes:
"We place, O Lord, on the head of this your bishop and champion, the helmet of protection and salvation, so that with face adorned and head armed with the horns of both testaments, he may appear fearsome to the adversaries of truth; and, by the bounty of your grace, may he be their mighty enemy, you who endowed the face of Moses your servant, adorned from the fellowship of your discourse, with the brightest horns of your splendor and truth and commanded a crown to be placed upon the head of your high priest Aaron. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."
Great arms, by the way.
Great emblazonment (as I would expect from Marco)...
I see a problem/curiosity in the design; what is the blazon for these arms such that the sword appears to be "within" or "on" the cross, yet it pierces a charge (the dragon) which is either "surmounting" or "overall." The english blazon for this would probably be cumbersome and somewhat less than efficient?
Or perhaps, the combined sword piercing the dragon charge are both together surmounting/overall and only incidentally is the sword being emblazoned inside the cross? That would solve the inefficiency…
So yes, just curious about the actual blazon if available.
"...as is more clearly shown in the margin…"?
I think any simple blazon of this design would likely rely to some degree on the tincture rule - i.e. to avoid a tincture violation (in this case, a sword Gules on Gules) there’s really only one alignment that works. Not that a lengthy verbal blueprint would be technically incorrect, merely unnecessarily unpoetic (like some of my posts…).
Maybe something like "Gules a Latin cross throughout between two fleurs de lis in chief Argent, overall a sword palewise point to base Gules piercing a dragon in base Or"? Others may do better…