Vincent Madeley Harris

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VINCENT MADELEY HARRIS

Born : October 14, 1913
Deceased : March 31, 1988

Bishop of Beaumont, 1966—1971
Bishop of Austin, 1971—1985

Arms of Vincent Madeley Harris

Bishop of Beaumont
Arms of Vincent Madeley Harris

Bishop of Austin


Official blazon

  • (Beaumont) Impaled arms. Dexter: Azure, out of a mount in base a vessel for the Holy Oils or, charged with the Greek monogram Chi-Rho gules, in chief a mullet between two roses argent (Diocese of Beaumont). Sinister: Gules, a fess bretesse argent between a heart in chief and hedgehog in base or (Bishop Harris). Motto: Sicut Qui Ministrat.

Origin/meaning

As common in US episcopal heraldry, the arms show the arms of the diocese impaled with the personal arms of the bishop.

The heart is the well-known symbol of Saint Vincent de Paul, the baptismal patron of the bishop. The heart, tinctured in gold on a red field, eloqently sug­gests this saint whom Pope Leo XIII proclaimed as patron of all charitable societies. The French people call him "Intendant de la Providence, et Pere des Pauvres."

The hedgehog in the base of the shield is a common charge on the coats of arms of both the English and Irish branches of the Harris family (probably not related to the bishop though).

The bar is derived from a coat of arms of a Madeley family, representing the bishop's mother. The disposition of the embattlements of the bar have been slightly altered to make this charge peculiar to Bishop Harris who bears Madaley as his middle name.

The motto, "Sicut qui ministrat" (As one who serves), is taken from the first sentence of chapter 16 of the Decree of Vatican Council II on the Bishops' Pastoral Office in the Church.


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Literature : Information from the Diocese of Beaumont