Wednesday, 25 June 2008
The official arms of Pope Benedict XVI. I was just surfing random coats of arms, as you do, I just liked this one. Every Pope gets a coat of arms and gets to pick his own. Its one of the perks, along with free hats and 5 free murders.
The scallop shell represents a story about Saint Augustine that goes;
A boy was using a shell to pour seawater into a little hole. When Augustine asked him what he was doing, he replied, "I am emptying the sea into this hole." Thus did Augustine understand that man would never penetrate to the depths of the mystery of God.
Im not sure I would get that from that reply, i'd probably just think "stupid kid" but I am not Saint Augustine. The shell also means Baptism and Pilgrim as well, apparently. I am not totally down on my Catholic image recognition, but I now know its shell = pilgrim, cross = jesus dying and monkey slipping on a banana = hilarity.
The black dude is a "moor's head" a symbol of where he is from. Nobody knows why its a symbol of Freising in Germany, it just is. Random black guys just sum that town up, apparently. That is how they roll, in a Moorish fashion.
The bear sadly does not represent a time he once totally killed a bear using just his hat... but an equally cool story;
A legend states that while traveling to Rome, Saint Corbinian's pack horse was killed by a bear. He commanded the bear to carry the load. Once he arrived, he released it from his service, and it returned to Bavaria. The implication is that "Christianity tamed and domesticated the ferocity of paganism and thus laid the foundations for a great civilization in the Duchy of Bavaria." At the same time, Corbinian's bear, as God's beast of burden, symbolizes the weight of office that Benedict now carries.
I like the superpower of commandeering random bears into your service. I bet the dude was knee deep in bear butlers and bear waiters. And you havent really lived till you've made a bear cook you dinner.
I assume the whole colour scheme represents a general lack of style and taste typical to Germans.
This is my coat of arms review in full.