The Coat of Arms of His Excellency, the Most Reverend
For his personal arms, His Excellency, Bishop Luong has adopted a design that reflects his life and his Vietnamese heritage.
Upon a silver (white) field is displayed a red cross, of The Faith, that is outlined (fimbriated) in gold (yellow). Within the quarters of the shield that are created by the cross are found four charges (symbols) that reflect the Bishop’s heritage.
To the upper left (chief dexter) are the Proper (i.e. “as they appear in nature”) palm frond, bamboo cross and golden map of Viet Nam used here to honor 117 canonized martyrs of the 130,000 people that gave their lives for The Faith as it was being spread in Viet Nam. To the upper right (chief sinister) is the blue monogram of Mary (the conjoined cross and “M”) to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in her title of Our Lady of Lavang, patroness of the Church of Viet Nam.
To the lower left upon a red, silver and gold “bronze drum” is a bird to represent the tradition of the ancient culture by which the people of Viet Nam are sons and daughters of the perfectly harmonious marriage of Heaven and Earth . . . the Ying and Yang . . . the positive and the negative. In the lower right, above two green olive branched, standing on three arrows is a blue eagle displayed in his glory. This symbol of the United States is used to represent and honor the country that has welcomed over one and a half million Vietnamese people since 1975.
For his motto, His Excellency, Bishop Luong has adopted the phrase from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 2:19), presented in both English and Vietnamese, “YOU ARE STRANGERS AND ALIENS NO LONGER.” By the use of this phrase, Bishop Luong expresses that for all who are called by Jesus Christ to the fullness of life within Him, that they are like the people of Viet Nam that were forced to leave their homeland and immigrate to the American shores, to find welcome, prosperity, friendship and peace in what is now their new land as all will find it one day in Heaven.
The device is completed with the external ornaments which are a gold processional cross, 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 six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See of March 31, 1969.
By: Deacon Paul J. Sullivan