Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms of His Excellency,
The Most Reverend Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz
D.D., Bishop of Lincoln
The episcopal heraldic achievement, or as it
is more commonly known, the bishop's coat of
arms, is composed of a shield, with its charges
(symbols), 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 12th century terms,
that are archaic to our modern language and this
description is done as if being given by the
bearer with the shield being worn on the arm.
Thus, the terms dexter and sinister are reversed
as the device is viewed from the front.
By heraldic tradition, the arms of the bishop
of a diocese, called the Ordinary, are joined
(impaled) with the arms of his jurisdicition
which are seen in the dexter impalement (left
side) of the shield. In this case, these are the
arms of the Diocese of Lincoln.
These arms are composed of a silver (white)
field on which there is a red pale (vertical
bar) and a blue chief on which there is placed a
silver (white) six pointed star. These arms are
a variation of the arms of the Union that was
preserved by Abraham Lincoln, for whom the See
City is named. The entire coat of arms of the
United States is displayed on a shield on the
breast of an American Eagle. These arms are
composed of a field of thirteen, alternating
bars of red and white, for the thirteen original
colonies, and a blue chief, representing the
Congress. In 1867 Nebraska became a state, and
Lancaster, chosen as its capital, became
Lincoln, to honor the slain President. On the
upper portion of these arms is a six pointed
star to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness
of the Diocese.
For his personal arms, seen in the sinister
impalement (right side) of the design, His
Excellency, Bishop Bruskewitz has adopted a
design that reflects his heritage and life as a
priest and, now as a bishop.
His Excellency's personal arms are composed
of two portions. The upper section, the gyronny
of red and silver (white), is a variation on the
arms of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, where His
Excellency served until his election to become
the Bishop of Lincoln. In the center of these
arms is a gold (yellow) plate, called a bezant,
on which is placed a dove, in his proper color,
to honor Saint Fabian, the Bishop's baptismal
patron. The lower portion is a slight variation
of the arms of the family "Bruskewitz," and by
the use of the use of this device His Excellency
honors the heritage of his parents Wendelin and
Frances (Talsky) Bruskewitz. The family arms
have been varied, for difference, by replacing
the blue roundels in the 1st and 4th quarters
with blue crosses, of the Faith.
For his motto, His Excellency, Bishop
Bruskewitz, has selected the title and first
line of an ancient hymn of Gregorian Chant to
the Blessed Virgin Mary "SUB TUUM PRAESIDIUM."
The first line of this hymn, roughly translated,
says "We fly to thy protection," and it is "TO
THY PROTECTION" that each of us must go if we
are to know, love and serve Mary's son, Our
Lord, Jesus Christ.
The device is completed with the external
ornaments which are a gold 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 six
tassels, in three rows, on either side of the
shield, all in green. These are the heraldic
insignia of prelate of the rank of bishop, by
instruction of the Holy See of March 31, 1969.
The Coat of Arms was designed by Paul J.
Sullivan of Narragansett, Rhode Island.
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