Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms of His Excellency, The Most Rev. Salvatore R. Matano, S.T.L., J.C.D., D.D., 9th Bishop of Rochester

Episcopal Motto: “In Unitatem Fidei”

Bishop Matano adopted the phrase “In Unitatem Fidei” from the Latin scriptural passage of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (4:13) and translated as “In the Unity of Faith.” By choosing this motto, Bishop Matano embraces the Apostle’s conviction that Jesus Christ desires that the entire family of God’s children, working together, strive to attain their fullness of maturity in the unity of the one Faith and the knowledge of the Son of God.
The Heraldic Description of the Coat of Arms of Bishop Matano

The right side of the shield (in the heraldic shield, the right and left are exchanged from the observer’s point of view, since it is customary to consider the right and the left side from the perspective of the soldier who, in ancient times, held his own shield), represents the Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester. Upon the gold (or) field we see the Cross of Saint Andrew, (saltire) in heraldry, red (gules) with a silver (argent) crescent in the center.  The diocesan shield was designed in the 1930’s by Mr. Pierre de Chaignon LaRose. The Cross of Saint Andrew was taken from the heraldry of the Diocese of Rochester in England, of which Saint Andrew was the principal Patron. It was in the See of Rochester, England, where the saintly Bishop, and later Cardinal, John Fisher faithfully exercised his episcopal ministry, unto the shedding of his own blood in martyrdom. In honor of Saint John Fisher’s fidelity, he became the patron of the Diocese of Rochester, New York. LaRose distinguished or “differenced” the new heraldry from the original, however, by replacing a scalloped shell in the center with the crescent, a symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness of the United States of America, under her title of the Immaculate Conception.
The color red is the color of love and of blood, and is therefore representative of the Martyrdom of Saint Andrew, the first-called by Jesus Christ among the holy Apostles, and of Saint John Fisher, both of whom heroically held to the truth and authentically handed on the Catholic and Apostolic Faith as preachers, pastors, and constant intercessors before the throne of the Triune God.  Gold, the most noble of all metals, is the symbol of the primary virtue of Faith, which enabled Saint Andrew and Saint John Fisher to believe all that God revealed through His Holy Church – and the ultimate commitment of their belief in the Son of God.

The left side is occupied by the personal heraldry of Bishop Matano; upon a blue (azure) field is displayed a silver moline cross taken from the heraldry of His Excellency’s native Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; a golden star with seven points simultaneously recalls the Divine institution of the Seven Sacraments and the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.  The liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows is observed on the 15th day of September, the day of Bishop Matano’s birth.

Issuant from the base are seven silver hills on which the Eternal City of Rome – the city of the Bishop’s priestly formation and graduate education – and the City of Providence – the city of the Bishop’s birth and preliminary education – are said to be built.

The blue background symbolizes the ascent of the human soul towards God, with whom each of us was created to dwell in unapproachable light. The pontifical hat, also called a “saturno,” a “cappello romano,” or a “galero,” with its six tassels in three rows on either side of the shield, all in green, completes the design. These are the insignia proper to the heraldry of a prelate of the rank of Bishop, by instruction of the Holy See, on March 31, 1969.