The Coat of Arms of His Excellency, The Most Reverend Robert Eric Guglielmone 13th Bishop of Charleston
In accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s heraldic tradition, the coat of arms of a Bishop traditionally contains certain elements:
- At the top, a green hat (galero) with 12 attached tassels, descending with six on each side of a shield and graded 1 tassel, then 2, then 3 from top to bottom;
- a golden processional cross, with one traversal bar, to represent the rank of Bishop, “impaled” vertically behind the shield;
- the shield itself with symbols representing family, geographic regions, religious and historical significance, and/or referring to the name of the Bishop;
- beneath the shield, a banderole (satin ribbon banner) with the episcopal motto written in black.
Bishop Guglielmone’s episcopal cross is decorated with cyclamen leaves, which is one of Italy’s national flowers, therefore honoring the bishop’s parents and his ancestral heritage. Cyclamen serves a dual purpose of honor as it also represents Mary the Sorrowful Mother, along with the ruby at the center of the cross.
The bishop’s coat of arms also pays homage to Mary, and to St. Paul, who is the bishop’s confirmation patron saint.
As you view the coat of arms, the left side features the shield of the Diocese of Charleston, of which he became bishop in 2009 during the Year of St. Paul.
The right side is occupied by the personal heraldry of Bishop Guglielmone, including family and ancestors, the role the sea has played in his history, and his devotion to Mary and St. Paul.
The place of honor at the top of the shield is painted blue, to honor Mary and denote the teaching authority of the Office of Bishop. The beaming star sending out a multitude of rays signifies the Annunciation of Our Lord, the feast day on which the bishop was ordained. The lower section is red, representing the Sacred Heart of Jesus and his Precious Blood in the Blessed Sacrament, and is adorned with a ship sailing on turbulent waters.
The waves represent oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea, which lies near the Guglielmone family’s birthplace in Italy; the North Atlantic Ocean, which surrounds the Diocese of Rockville Centre, where Bishop Guglielmone served as a priest for 30 years; the Atlantic Gulf Stream, which forms the eastern border of his new diocese; and the waters of Charleston harbor, the seat of his diocese.
Riding these waves is an ancient ship, depicting the type Jesus and St. Paul would have used, and representing the Church. The sword engulfed in flames on the ship’s sail also honors St. Paul.
Beneath the coat of arms is the bishop’s motto, chosen to reflect his personal spirituality. Bishop Guglielmone chose “Walk humbly with your God,” from Micah 6:8: “You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Bishop Guglielmone’s coat of arms was designed by James‐Charles Noonan Jr., and painted by Linda Nicholson.