Roman Catholic

Archdiocese of Kingston




Coat of Arms - Most Rev. Lawrence A. Burke











The arch-episcopal heraldic achievement, or archbishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, with its charges (symbols), a motto scroll and the external ornaments. By heraldic tradition, the arms of the archbishop of a territorial archdiocese, called the “Metropolitan” are joined to the arms of his jurisdiction, seen in the dexter impalement (left side) of the shield. In this case, these are arms of the Archdiocese of Kingston in Jamaica.

These arms are based on the national Coat of Arms of Jamaica, a silver (white) field charged with a red cross, yet “differenced” by replacing the five pineapples of the national device with five crosses. At the center of the design, interlaced about the cross is a gold triangle emblematic of the Blessed Trinity, titular of the Cathedral Church in Kingston.

For his personal arms, seen in the sinister impalement (right side) of the shield, His Grace, Archbishop Burke, has retained the arms that he adopted at the time that he was selected to receive the fullness of Christ’s Most Holy Priesthood, as he became the Second Bishop of Nassau and which he carries into his tenure as the first Archbishop of Nassau and he now carries to Kingston in Jamaica.

In these arms, Archbishop Burke places on the arms of the Burke family, a gold field with a red cross, the symbols of his baptismal patrons, Saint Aloysius, represented by a silver cross being placed on the red cross, and Saint Lawrence, who tradition tells us was martyred by the Romans by being roasted on a rack or gridiron, here shown in black. On the chief of his personal arms, His Grace has placed, in silver, the symbol of his religious community, the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits), which is the monogram of the Holy Name (IHS and cross) above three crucifixion nails within a crown of thorns.

For his motto, Archbishop Burke uses the phrase “JESUS IS LORD” to express the true Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah and Lord of all, and that through this belief in Christ Jesus we can attain eternal salvation.

The device is completed with the external ornaments which are a gold archepiscopal processional cross having two cross members), which is placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a “gallero,” with its ten tassels, in four rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of archbishop by instruction of The Holy See of March 31, 1969.


(c) copyright, 2008,  roman catholic archdiocese of kingston, jamaica, west indies