COAT OF ARMS OF HIS EXCELLENCY MOST REV. SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS, DD
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
The two sides of the coat of arms are divided by a TAU cross in the middle.
The right side is the personal seal of the Archbishop.
The left side is the seal of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.
The TAU cross is traditionally associated with Saint Francis of Assisi to whom Archbishop Soc is especially devoted. The TAU cross gained prominence as a symbol of renewal through Pope Innocent III at the opening of the Fourth Lateran Council using the words of Ezekiel 9:4, “ We are called to reform our lives; to stand in the presence of God as a holy people. God will know us by the sign of the TAU marked on our foreheads”. The TAU cross is a symbol of the lifelong fidelity of the archbishop to the passion of Christ.
On the upper right (blue) side is the letter M referring to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary at the foot of the Cross is a poignant picture of a mother’s love for her Son. The blue background refers to the abiding presence of Mary in his life. The diagonal line with barbed wire refers to the EDSA revolution of 1986 and 2001, historical events that have shaped the pastoral ministry of the Archbishop. It also refers to the heroic struggle of the Filipinos in Bataan during the Second World War. The white background represents his active involvement for the cause of peace.
On the lower right (red) stands the silhouette of San Carlos Borromeo, the patron of the Archdiocesan Seminary where he studied. Red is the Cardinal’s color referring to his love and esteem for the late Archbishop of Manila, His Eminence Jaime L. Cardinal Sin.
On the left side of the shield, the red wavy pile or the upper triangular position signifies the bloody Gulf of Lingayen. (The wavy lines in heraldry signify water). The gulf is bloody – Limahong and other pirates entered through it. Moro pirates made depredations in its coastal towns. The Japanese and the Americans during the Filipino- American war also entered through it.
This red portion of the shield has a star referring to the sign seen by the wise men who came to adore the Lord. (Mt. 2:2) The Church of Lingayen is dedicated to the Epiphany of the Lord.
Still on the red portion at the center is a white eagle with a halo which stands for St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. St. John is represented by an eagle because he is called the Eagle of the Patmos. In his book called Apocalypse or Revelation (written in Patmos), he soared up to the throne of God and wrote down what he saw there – who and what was around it. St. John is the patron of Dagupan.
The lower portion of the shield is a green field representing the fertile plain of Pangasinan. It is also decked with a gold rose on each corner. Rose is the symbol of Our Lady, the Mystical Rose. She is venerated in the archdiocese under three titles:
1. Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary;
2. Our Lady of Purification; and
3. Mary Help of Christians
A pallium, which is a piece of woolen cloth with crosses given by the Supreme Pontiff to Metropolitan Archbishops, wraps the shield on top and below to signify that Lingayen-Dagupan is a Metropolitan See.
The Archbishop’s motto is “PAX”, Latin for peace.
Peace is the fruit of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ (cf.John 20:19).
Peace is also the gift that every disciple must offer to the world (cf. Luke 1.0:5).
Those who make peace are assured of the heavenly inheritance for the children of God. (cf. Matthew 5:9)
Formed under a great man of peace, Jaime Cardinal Sin, and having worked at the EDSA Shrine dedicated to peace, and Bataan, the land of valor, the archbishop sets his energy, his life and his mission for the task of making peace.
Christ is our peace (cf. Ephesians 2:14). To make peace is to proclaim Christ. Christ is peace.
The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
(Central Pangasinan, Philippines)