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Slight changes to Pope Francis’s coat of arms

March 28, 2013

The Vatican’s web site has posted a new version of Pope Francis’s coat of arms.

The star, which represents the Blessed Virgin Mary, now has eight points instead of five; Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, the Archpriest Emeritus of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, explained that an eight-pointed star typically represents the Blessed Mother in Catholic heraldry.

The spikenard flower, which represents St. Joseph, now looks less like a cluster of grapes, and the papal motto -- miserando atque eligendo (literally, “by having mercy and choosing”) -- now appears in a banner.


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