COAT OF ARMS
Bishop John M. LeVoir presents his personal coat of arms to the people of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, as a reflection of his history and his role as the ordinary of the diocese, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on July 14, 2008. His crest is divided in a threefold manner (chapé ployé) in imitation of the coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI.
The sinister chape (the divided section to the viewer’s right, bearer’s left) shows the personal coat of arms of Bl. Pope John Paul II, a single design which contains a threefold signification. First, Bishop LeVoir has chosen the gold (or) cross and letter M on a blue (azure) field to convey his gratitude for Bl. John Paul II’s life of holiness. Second, the letter ‘M’ at the foot of the cross reflects Bishop LeVoir’s total devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. Third, this chape honors the Polish heritage which Bishop LeVoir shares with Bl. John Paul II from his mother’s line.
On the dexter chape (the divided section to the viewer’s left, bearer’s right), a lily and plane on a gold (or) field represent St. Joseph, husband of Mary, whose example of purity and humility Bishop LeVoir strives to imitate.
The lower field contains blue (azure) and white (argent) waves modeled on the coat of arms of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where Bishop LeVoir was ordained to the priesthood. Through a technique called inescutcheon, the coat of arms for the Diocese of New Ulm is imposed on this field, reflecting Bishop LeVoir’s new mission to leave his home diocese and minister to the Church in New Ulm.
The gold (or) processional cross is depicted with fleur-de-lis, reflecting Bishop LeVoir’s French heritage from his father’s line.
Bishop LeVoir chose the motto Nolite Timere, “Do Not Be Afraid” (Mt 14:27), spoken by Christ, who often encouraged his disciples with these words. These words were among the first spoken by Pope John Paul II on his election to the See of St. Peter. Bishop LeVoir believes this message is essential for the Pilgrim Church today as she journeys toward her heavenly home with courage and hope.