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Pope John Paul II to be beatified May 1


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Pope Benedict XVI

Coat of Arms

Pope Benedict XVI Coat of Arms

Pope Benedict XVI substituted a bishop's miter for the traditional pope's tiara, and draped below the shield, added a white woolen* pallium with black crosses. 

The miter is silver with three gold stripes symbolizing order, jurisdiction and magisterium, the powers of the Supreme Pontiff.

*The pallium symbolizes the yoke or weight of responsibility of the papacy, and the crosses symbolize Christ's Passion.

On the left side of the shield is the **Moor of Freising (caput ethiopicum) symbolizing the universality of the Catholic Church.

On the right side of the shield is Saint Corbinian's bear.  Saint Corbinian was the first bishop and the patron saint of the Diocese of Freising.  When Saint Corbinian was on his way to Rome, a bear attacked and killed Saint Corbinian's mule, so as punishment, Saint Corbinian made the bear carry his belongings.

The shell at the bottom of the shield symbolizes pilgrims on a journey.

On the back of the shield are keys symbolizing Christ giving Saint Peter the keys to the Church.

Popes have had personal coats of arms for the last eight centuries.

*In the early papacies, the pallium was made of sheepskin.


 Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI Messages

My Cousin the Pope

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