Coat of Arms: Bishop Rozanski


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) 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. While it does not apply to this particular design, where it does apply, the terms “dexter” (right) and “sinister” (left) are reversed as the device is viewed from the front.

For his personal arms, His Excellency, Bishop Rozanski has selected a design that is based on two major themes; his Polish heritage and his service to the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

In the upper portion of the design, in red and silver (white), the colors of the Polish national flag, are a cross bottony (each arm terminates in a triple ball), which represented in red on silver, is a variant on the symbolism known as a “cross of St. Michael,” the Bishop’s baptismal patron. To the right of the cross (chief dexter) is a silver rose on a red field, drawing upon the significance that His Excellency’s family name refers to “Rose flower” in Polish.

In base, on the alternating vertical bars of black and gold (yellow) with a red diagonal bar called a “bend,” is an open book of the Most Holy Scriptures. These charges, drawn from the arms of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, signify that His Excellency’s ministry as a deacon, priest and now as a bishop is to spread God’s Holy Word to the faithful of the Archdiocese. This symbolism joins well with the Bishop’s motto, that is taken from the 100th Psalm, that in all that Bishop Rozanski is to do for The Lord, he is called to “SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS.”

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 a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See of March 31, 1969.

By: Deacon Paul J. Sullivan

Rev. Mr. Sullivan is a Permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Providence.