The Coat of Arms of the Most Reverend Jozef Dabrowski,
CSMA Auxiliary Bishop of London and Titular Bishop of Casae in Numidia. Ordained to the Episcopate in the Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of St Peter, London, Ontario 14 April, 2015.
Arms: Tierced in pairle reversed Argent Gules and Vert in dexter chief a Lombardic majuscule M ensigned with a crest coronet Gules in sinister chief a carpenter’s square angle in chief surmounted over the sinister arm of a Lombardic majuscule J Argent and in base a Sword point in chief the blade wavy conjoined to a pair of wings displayed and inverted Or.
Behind the shield is placed a Bishop’s Cross Or and over all an Ecclesiastical Hat with cords pendant from each side and each cord ending in six tassels Vert.
Motto: “JESU IN TE CONFIDO”
Since the dawn of heraldry in the twelfth century bishops and other ecclesiatics have used personal coats of arms as a means of identification. In following this ancient tradition Bishop Dabrowski has chosen colours and symbols meaningful to him in that they represent his Christian faith, spiritual devotion, and familial origins. The shield is divided into three sections the upper right being white the left, red, and the lower part green. These colours are those to be found in the flags of Canada and Poland (both country’s flags being red and white) and in that of Italy (red, white, green). Poland is his land of birth, Canada his present home and Italy is the country where bishop Dabrowski studied for priesthood and also the country of origin of many of his parishioners in the last parish where he served and ministered as Pastor before being appointed a bishop. Red and white are also the colours (see John 19.34) of Divine Mercy to which devotion (which is the endless mercy of God towards all people) Bishop Dabrowski is dedicated. White is the colour associated with peace, harmony, righteousness and purity. Red represents love, sacrifice, passion and the Holy Spirit. In green is seen life, growth, renewal, vigour and service.
Letters are not often used in heraldry as charges on a shield, however, they frequently occur in ecclesiastical heraldry and in Polish coats of arms (as in the arms of Saint John Paul II and in the arms of the Diocese of Rzeszow). In the white section is placed a crowned capital letter M. This is the monogram used to represent the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has been used in this fashion since the Middle Ages and pilgrims journeying to various Marian shrines often used it as a badge. Here it represents the Bishop’s devotion to the Theotokos, Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church. St Mary is also the dedication of the parish in London, Ontario where he his priestly ministry was exercised for many years. The upper-case J signifies not just the initial of his baptismal name but indicates his devotion to Saint Joseph the Worker who is represented by the emblem of his trade, the carpenter’s square (Matthew 13.55). St Joseph is the patron and protector of the Universal Church. It is also a reference to his home parish church of St Joseph in the village of Wysoka Strzyzowska, Poland where he was baptized, confirmed and said his first Mass as a priest.
In the lower part of the shield is placed an upright sword with a flame-like blade conjoined to a pair of wings. This image represents the archangel Saint Michael. Bishop Dabrowski’s home village is located within the larger municipality Gmina Strzyzow the coat of arms of which feature the image of St Michael. In that community there is also a large centrally located statue of the Saint. Bishop Dabrowski is a priest of the Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel. As a Michaelite Father he has devoted himself in service as a member and leader in that community for many years. The flaming sword of the Archangel Michael is found in the Congregation’s coat of arms. St Michael is called God’s champion and the defender of God’s people (see Revelation 12.7-12 and Daniel 10.12-21; 12.1). Here this symbol of the saintly archangel is a fitting emblem for a bishop of Christ’s church.
Bishop Dabrowski has chosen for his motto, “Jesu in te confido” (Jesus, I trust in you), the phrase which accompanies the image of Jesus the Divine Mercy.
The external ornaments, the green ecclesiastical hat of a bishop and the bishop’s cross, indicate his position in the hierarchy of the church and were assigned by Pope Paul VI by a special Instrument dated 31 March 1969.
Canon D. G. Bowyer