Vatican City, Apr 27, 2005 / 22:00 pm
The official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published today the new coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI, which includes all of the elements in the episcopal coat of arms of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and leaves out the traditional pontifical tiara, replacing it with a mitre.
The Holy Father also added his pallium to the coat of arms.
According to Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, an expert in heraldic insignia and the designer of the new coat of arms, “Benedict XVI has chosen a coat of arms rich in symbolism and meaning, in order to put his personality and papacy in the hands of history.”
Benedict XVI added to his coat of arms the pilgrim’s seashell, the symbol of the Way of Santiago. The shell has various symbolic meanings, the principal of which is taken from a famous legend about St. Augustine and his encounter with a young boy on the beach who was using a shell to pour seawater into a hole. It also refers to the emblem of the pilgrims who traveled along the Way of Santiago towards the Shrine of St. James in Spain.