Diocese of Green Bay

PART II of our diocesan history continues. The Diocese of Green Bay was officially created on March 3, 1868. The diocesan Coat of Arms appears on all official announcements from our Bishop, and also often in the Compass, our diocesan newspaper. It was created around the year 1892. It has been revised a couple of times, most recently in 1945 by Bishop Paul Peter Rhode.

The Coat of Arms as we know it today is divided into two areas. The upper portion contains a white St. Andrew's cross on a field of blue. According to tradition, St. Andrew was crucified, martyred on a cross in the shape of an "X". The cross symbolizes the establishment of the Christian faith in the Diocese.

The ship in the center of the cross is a symbol of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of the diocese and the Cathedral; the ship also represents the means by which the early missionaries came to the shores of Green Bay to preach the Gospel. St. Francis Xavier was born in Pamplona, Spain and became one of the seven who founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). He was a priest with great zeal and energy, and was named, along with St. Theresa of Lisieux, co-patron of all foreign missions. The arrowhead honors the earliest settlers of the territory.

In the lower portion, the Bay of Green Bay is represented by the break into the field of green. The green stands for the earthen terrace on which the city was built, thus our motto, "Planted Near the Water." When you next see the Coat of Arms, now you will know its meaning.

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