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New coat of arms

Bishop Llanos’ coat of arms as Bishop of St John’s-Basseterre differs slightly from the coat of arms as Auxiliary Bishop of Port of Spain.

The shield is divided in three. The upper third bears the Crest of the Llanos family from the 16th century in southern Spain. The castle in the centre denotes authority and leadership with a tiger on either side being the guardians of that authority. The gold background represents hope; the green, peace; and the red, chivalry.

The second segment bears a chalice and host in the centre flanked by a dove on its right and the hearts of Jesus and Mary (reverse of the Miraculous Medal) on its left. The chalice and host speak of the Eucharist which is the source and summit of our Catholic faith and centre of the Church’s life.

The dove symbolises the Holy Spirit who is the gift of Grace that is the life of the Church and all its members. The hearts of Jesus and Mary contain the miracle of love after which we all strive for perfection in Christ. The blue background represents the waters of Baptism and new life. The spiritual life of Bishop Robert Llanos is centred on these three elements.

The third segment reflects where the change has been made. The new shield bears two symbols that pertain to the diocese. The sugar mill symbolises the historical past of the people of Antigua and Barbuda, and the Antiguan black pineapple, its national fruit.

The pineapple replaces an image of the Trinity hills, while the sugar mill replaces a steel pan with sticks. What has remained in this segment is an image of the Holy Family which reminds us of the centrality and importance of family life for the Church and the nation. Bishop Robert Llanos therefore sees his ministry as at the service of family life, Church and nation.

The motto which the Coat of Arms carries ‘Do Whatever He tells you’ comes from the biblical passage on the wedding feast at Cana. This instruction indicates that Bishop Llanos’ life and ministry as a bishop comes under the protection and guidance of the Blessed Virgin Mary with whose authority he seeks to do the will of God in the service of God’s people. As in the wedding feast at Cana, obedience to the will of God is always fruitful and life giving to those who partake of it. This command is therefore an instruction to the whole Church.