Bernard Joseph Flanagan
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BERNARD JOSEPH FLANAGAN
Born : March 31, 1908
Deceased : January 28, 1998
Impaled. Dexter: Vert, seme of trefoils or, a tower ensigned by a star argent; Sinister: Cheeky argent and gules, on a chevron of the last two lions combatant or.
MOTTO: Respice ad Mariam
As common in US episcopal heraldry, the arms show the arms of the diocese impaled with the personal arms of the bishop.
The arms of the bishop are based on those of the Flanagans of Roscommon in Ireland, which consist of a silver field bearing a red chevron charged with two golden lions. The field of the shield has been differenced by rows of squares, alternately silver and red, known as "cheeky" in heraldry. The cheeky field is a modification of the counter-company bend (diagonal bar) which composes the reputed coat of arms of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the baptismal patron of the Bishop. St. Bernard antedated heraldry, but at the dawn of heraldry the Cistercians composed a coat of arms to honor the great saint who reformed their rule.
The motto, Respice ad Mariam (Look up to Mary), is taken from the homily of St. Bernard in Lesson V of the Second Nocturn of Matins in the Office of the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary.