St. John's University - Coat of Artms

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The cross represents Christ as the center and model for moral and ethical character.

The book, a symbol of learning, bears the words, Ecce Agnus ("Behold the Lamb of God"), the testimony of St. John the Baptist to the divinity of Christ.

The heart is the symbol of the charity of St. Vincent de Paul, founder of the Vincentians. It is silver commemorating the first vision of St. Catherine Laboure.

The fleur-de-Lis represents France, the birthplace of St. Vincent, and reminds the university of its dedication to thee Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The escalloped shell, an ancient symbol for the sacrament of baptism, also signifies St. James the Greater, titular of the cathedral of the Diocese of Brooklyn, the diocese in which the university was founded. The shell also suggests an Indian name for Long Island, “Sewanhacky,” or Island of Shells.

The moto Educatio Christiana Animae Perfectio, ("Christian Education Perfects the Soul") is inspired from Divini illius magistri, the encyclical of Pope Pius XI on Christian Education.


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