The Coat of Arms of The Bishop Jeffrey Marc Monforton, BA, STB, STL, STD Faith Comes From Hearing

BLAZON
On the dexter for the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio - Chief party Azure; fess Argent per pale Azure, bend Gules. Base point Argent. In chief a heart Argent charged with a rose Gules above a crescent Argent; in base a torteaux charged with a celestial crown Or, on the circlet of the crown the letters I H S Sable, between three tongues of fire Gules one in fess, one in nombril, and one in base.
On the sinister for Bishop Jeffrey Monforton - Tierced per fess, in chief Azure clair; fess Argent; Base point Gules. Charged in chief, Forte rune de Montagne Gris, sur une colline Vert. Fess triade de roses Gules. Base point, lion rampant Gris, tenant a crowned vulned heart Gris.
 
NARRATIVE
The above description of the Coat of Arms of Bishop Jeffrey Monforton is written in the vocabulary of heraldry as expressed in the Old English language by way of its French roots. The Episcopal Coat of Arms of Bishop Monforton combines that of the Diocese of Steubenville on the viewer’s left with that of the personal arms of Bishop Monforton on the viewer’s right. Combining the two signifies that Bishop Monforton’s Coat of Arms is “married” to that of Steubenville’s for as long as he remains the Ordinary of that Diocese. In heraldic terminology, the right is referred to as sinister, and the left, dexter – since a Coat of Arms is described as if one was carrying it in front of one’s self on a shield. 
 
THE CHARGES OF THE STEUBENVILLE DIOCESE
In heraldry, a “charge” is any emblem or device occupying the field of a shield. A Coat of Arms is “charged with meaning” depending on these particulars. The Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Steubenville tells the story of the place and people of the Roman Catholic Church in thirteen counties in Southeastern Ohio.  The Steubenville Diocese was erected by Pope Pius XII in 1944 out of territory from the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio.  The Steubenville Coat of Arms was created in 1945 and has been in use, in much the same form, since that time.
The upper third contains three symbols (or charges) of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the patroness of the Diocese. This dedication is represented on a field of blue, the traditional color of Mary, upon which is emblazoned a silver heart, for her Immaculate Heart. The heart contains a Rose of Sharon, a biblical title for Mary.  Beneath this is a silver crescent moon indicating Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
Immediately below this upper third is a section (brisure) on which is found the arms of Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, after whom the city is named. This indicates the geographical seat of the Diocese. The field is halved into silver and blue, with a diagonal stripe or "bend" in red. This patriotic theme celebrates the fact that Von Steuben served as George Washington’s chief of staff in the Continental Army.
The lower section indicates the spiritual seat, or “cathedra” of the Diocese, that of the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral. It is indicated by a heraldic "celestial crown" of gold, and resting on a field of red. The IHS ecclesiastical symbol for the name of Jesus is engraved on the crown. The red pentecostal tongues of fire on a silver field refer to the Church's evangelical mission. This symbol is based on the text of St. Luke 12:49: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! [NAB]
 
THE CHARGES OF BISHOP MONFORTON
The Bishop’s personal coat of arms consists of three fields, or base colors:  at the top (chief point) light blue; at the middle (or honor point) a bar (fess) of white; and at the bottom (base point) a field of red. 
The chief point of the shield depicts the‎, Mivtzar Monfor, a ruined crusader castle in the upper Galilee region of northern Israel. The name of the fortress derives from two French words - mont (a mountain) and fort (strong), meaning "strong mountain". Built by the French at the beginning of the last millennium, the castle name comes from the same derivation as the Brittany family name of Bishop Monforton.   Bishop Monforton’s family on his father’s side traces their heritage to the Brittany area of northwestern France. His ancestors emigrated from there to Canada almost 400 years ago.
Although Montfort Castle in Galilee saw some military use during the Middle Ages when it passed into Teutonic and later Baibar hands, it was primarily noted for its agricultural significance. In Jesus’ time, Galilee was the site of many of his miracles and agricultural parables. It remains a most fertile and productive area of the Holy Land.
The center, or honor point, of Bishop Monforton’s Coat of Arms contains three red roses. They pay tribute to St. Therese of Lisieux, the patroness of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan - where Bishop Monforton had his first priestly assignment - and the patroness of Bishop Monforton’s first pastorate, St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, in Shelby Township, Michigan. In her autobiography, St. Therese wrote, "My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death. I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses."  Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese's signature. 
The bottom part, or base point, of Bishop Monforton’s Coat of Arms features a rampant lion. “Rampant” signifies that the animal is rearing up on one hind foot and fighting with its front paws. The rampant lion is found on the Coat of Arms of the English branch of the Monforton family.  But in the application used for Bishop Monforton, the rampant lion is not fighting; instead he holds a crowned, wounded heart in its front paws. This is the coat of arms of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, where Bishop Monforton was the rector and president for six years.
Covering the top of the shield and used in Episcopal heraldry since the Tenth Century, is the “Gallero”. It is also known as a “pilgrim’s hat” because of its wide brim protecting the traveler from the elements. In this context, the Gallero indicates a bishop’s willingness to journey to distant places for the faith – while at the same time expecting the protection of the shadow of God as noted in Psalm 84:12:“For a sun and shield is the Lord God, bestowing all grace and glory. The Lord withholds no good thing from those who walk without reproach.” [NAB]  During Bishop Monforton’s tenure as Rector, Sacred Heart Major Seminary conducted annual seminarian pilgrimages to the Holy Land.
The Gallero has a cord attached to it. It is flanked by two sets of six tassels, or “fiocchi”. Originally this cord and tassels were a simple of way of securing the hat to the traveler’s head. Tradition now dictates that a bishop’s Gallero and cord are depicted in the color green, with six tassels arranged in three rows on either side, indicating the rank of bishop.
Above and behind the combined shields of Steubenville and Bishop Monforton, there appears a processional cross which further reinforces the theme of “bishop and his people as pilgrims” – persons on the move for the sake of the Lord’s kingdom. The cruciform used here is that of the Jerusalem Cross. It consists of a central cross signifying the city of Jerusalem from which the faith spread, surrounded by four minor crosses. It was part of the coat of arms of the short-lived Jerusalem Kingdom (1099-1203 AD). Scholars posit that the central cross represents the strength of Christianity. The four smaller crosses represent the spread of Christianity to the four corners of the earth. The red color represents Christ’s sacrifice for his people.   The Jerusalem Cross is used today by the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a fraternal, charitable organization charged by the Vatican with the task of providing for the needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and for all the activities and initiatives which are necessary to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land. Bishop Monforton was inducted into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in 2011, and thus merits the use of the red Jerusalem Cross.
 
MOTTO
It is customary for a new bishop to select a written motto to complete his Coat of Arms. This serves as a motif for his ministry. This motto is placed on a ribbon or scroll at the base of the processional cross. Bishop Monforton has selected for his motto a passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “Faith Comes From Hearing”. The full passage from Romans 10:17 reads: “… faith comes, from hearing, andthat means hearing the word of Christ.” [New Jerusalem Bible]  Bishop Monforton selected this evangelical motto because he sees that the mission of the Church in his time will be increasingly marked by a new hearing of God's word and a new evangelization – bringing to the ears of the world our Catholic, communal faith experience, and  proclaiming our faith in new cultural contexts.
 
Prepared and executed for the Most Reverend Jeffrey Monforton in August of 2008 by the Rev. Timothy Pelc of the Archdiocese of Detroit, with the assistance of Stephanie Ruttinger and Christine Busque.