Coat of Arms and Episcopal Motto
On the left half of the shield, the coat of arms of the diocese are composed of three sections of red, white, and blue, the national colors of the United States. To the left the field is red with a sword, symbol of Saint Paul, patron of the Diocese of Covington. To the right is a white field that displays a blue fleur-de-lis, representing the Archdiocese of Louisville. It was from the Covington and Louisville dioceses that the Diocese of Lexington was formed. Its base is a blue field, to honor “the Bluegrass State” of Kentucky, that displays a white cross, upon which is a gold diadem to honor Christ the King, patron of the diocese’s cathedral.
On the right side are the personal arms of Bishop John. These are composed of a white field on which is seen a red eagle, the symbol of Saint John, Bishop John’s baptismal and religious patron. Below the eagle is a black Tau cross, emblematic of Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of Bishop John’s religious order. The color black represents the dominant color of the Franciscan habit. Upon the tau is a green “Mary’s Key,” seen hanging from the belt of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Consolation, the national shrine of which Bishop John was rector.
For his motto, Bishop John has adopted the Latin phrase, “ANNUNTIAMUS VERBUM VITAE”, translated as, “We announce the Word of life.”
Outside of the shield are a gold processional cross and a pontifical hat with 6 tassels. These are the heraldic insignia of the rank of bishop.