With a new diocese comes a new coat of arms

Behold the new coat of arms of Bishop Hans van den Hende that goes with his new appointment to the Diocese of Rotterdam.

The symbols on the new design include elements associated with both his new diocese and his former diocese, Breda. The white lily represent the Blessed Virgin, patron of the Diocese of Breda, and the grid on the top left is that of St. Lawrence, patron of Rotterdam. The green cross on white also comes from Rotterdam (and, perhaps coincidentally, it is the reverse of the colours associated with Groningen, the diocese where Bishop van den Hende  was vicar general before he came to Breda).

The lamb of God is in the centre of the shield, and it has to do with the bishop’s own patron saint, St. John the Baptist, who directs us to Christ with the words, “Behold, the lamb of God” (John 1:29).

The motto remains unchanged. ‘Sine timore serviamus illi‘ comes from the Gospel of Luke (1:74), and means “that we may serve Him without fear”.

Requiescat in Pace, Georg Cardinal Sterzinsky

A random visit to German website Kreuz.net informs me that Georg Cardinal Sterzinsky, the emeritus archbishop of Berlin, passed away today in the early hours of the morning.

Never feeling fully at home in the new Germany exemplified by the capital Berlin, Cardinal Sterzinsky had been suffering from ill health for a number of years. This was part of his reason to request the pope to be allowed to retire, a request that was granted in February. He had the earnest wish to be able to welcome Pope Benedict XVI to Berlin later this year – a wish that was not to come true.

The first and, as yet, only Cardinal-priest of San Giuseppe all’Aurelio, Cardinal Sterzinsky was 75 years old. His obituary is available in German at the website of the Archdiocese of Berlin.

Photo credit: Walter Wetzler, Archdiocese of Berlin