The episcopal ordination of Father Fintan Monahan as Bishop of Killaoe, will take place on Sunday 25 September in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Ennis, Co Clare. In preparation for his episcopal ordination, Bishop-Elect Monahan has prepared his personal Coat of Arms and Motto.
Traditionally in the Church most bishops and the Pope have a personal Coat of Arms. Originally used to mark or seal documents they now serve to identify people and dioceses. They often reflect the story of a bishop’s ministry or express his hopes for the future.
Coat of Arms
Bishop-elect Monahan’s Coat of Arms consists of: on the left hand side, the ancient arms of the Diocese of Killaloe, and on the right, the personal Coat of Arms, chosen by the bishop himself.
The arms of the Diocese consist of a Latin cross between four trefoils with the emblem of the key occupying the chief position. The arms connote the guardianship of Christ’s Kingdom, with special reference to Saint Peter.
The personal dimension of the new bishop’s Coat of Arms represents his origins and ministry. It consists mainly of the Monahan family Coat of Arms with representations of faith, generosity and protection.
The three mullets (the term mullet in heraldry refers to a star with straight sides, typically having five points) wish to recall the three figures of the apparition of Knock: Our Lady, Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Joseph.
The arms also include the broken chariot wheel of Saint Jarlath which represents the new bishop’s priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Tuam and long association with Saint Jarlath’s College prior to his appointment as Bishop of Killaloe.
The Coat of Arms is surmounted by the Galero which was originally a pilgrim’s hat and is ornamented by twelve tassels called fiocchi.
Bishop-elect Monahan has chosen as his motto: “Críost Liom Críost Romham” – Christ with me, Christ before me. These words are taken from Lúireach Phádraig, (Saint Patrick’s Breastplate), a 5th century Irish Hymn whose lyrics were traditionally attributed to Saint Patrick and his ministry. The words reflect Bishop Fintan’s prayer and hope for his ministry as Bishop of Killaloe.