With his new title, Cardinal Eijk also got the right to change his coat of arms. In the past five years it has undergone several gradual changes, but this will very likely be its final form:

The red galero is the traditional cardinal’s hat (bishops feature a green galero in the coat of arms), and the fifteen red tassels also show the bearer’s rank. All cardinals’ coats of arms feature these elements. The golden staff behind the shield shows that Cardinal Eijk is an archbishop, while the pallium in top of the shield is indicative of his being a metropolitan. The shield itself, then, is personal. The silver cross of red comes from the coat of arms of the city of Utrecht (when he was bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden, Cardinal Eijk’s shield was a silver cross on green). The green heart shield shows a staff with a snake around it, indicating the cardinal’s medical profession. The motto underneath the shield, Noli recusare laborem, meaning “Do not refuse the work”, has been the cardinal’s since his appointment as bishop of Groningen in 1999.

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