Coat of Arms

According to Catholic heraldic tradition, a bishop’s coat of arms consists of:
- a shield of different forms (always a version of a heraldic shield) and consisting of symbols of one’s personal beliefs or family traditions, one’s name, environment and/or other
- one golden processional two-barred cross, positioned in palo i.e. vertically behind the shield;
- one scroll in the lower part of the coat of arms with an inscribed bishop’s motto usually in black lettering. In this case a shield of Gothic style was chosen,considered a classic, and one often used in church heraldry, a golden cross in shape of a shamrock decorated with five red stones signifying the Five Holy Wounds of Christ.

Coat of Arms explained

The coat of arms consists of two fields in the top, on the left a gold star (heptagram) and on the right a crown of Croatian kings under which is the central field with a barque with monogram XP.

The two blue fields expanding to the left and the right side symbolise incorruptibility of the firmament, ideals which strive upwards and represent separation from earthly values and soul’s ascension to God. The central field consists of a barque in midst of a stormy sea. The barque symbolises the Church in these tumultuous times with Jesus Christ at its helm. Christ’s monogram (XP: Greek letters hi and ro, first two letters of Hristos) stands out on the sail and signifies that Christ’s central place in the Church in these difficult times is in the front and centre.  

In the top left filed (heraldic right) is a star which symbolises the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus and our spiritual Mother, known also as Morning Star, and in the top right field (heraldic left) the crown of Croatian kings, a reference to Tomislavgrad, a town where the first Croatian king Tomislav was crowned and bishop Kutleša born.

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord!” Psalm 31:15

His bishop’s motto “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord!” is taken from Psalm 31. Faced with temptations and dangers of life, man must have an anchor in life to hold on to, a shelter to relieve anxiety so he may persist temptations in hope of achieving his destination. This shelter is our Lord who manages historical events through which his Barque is sailing for home, its final destination.

Bishop Kutleša’s motto was chosen as a sign of his great confidence in God’s providence and wisdom. Also, the same words of the bishop’s motto were chosen by the Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, whom our new archbishop reveres and asks to intercede on his behalf in his prayers to the Lord.

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