Coat of Arms
of Pope John Paul II
From L’Osservatore Romano, Eng. edit., Nov. 23, 1978
The coat of arms of Pope John Paul II is intended as an act of homage to the central mystery of Christianity, the Redemption.
And so the main representation is a cross, whose form, however, does not correspond to the customary heraldic model. The reason for the unusual placement of the vertical section of the cross is readily apparent if one considers the second object inserted in the coat of arms — the large and majestic capital M. This recalls the presence of Mary beneath the cross and Her exceptional participation in the Redemption.
The greater devotion of the Holy Father to the Virgin Mary is manifested in this manner, as it was also expressed in his motto as Cardinal Wojtyla: TOTUS TUUS (All Yours). Nor can one forget that within the confines of the ecclesiastical province of Krakow, there is situated the celebrated Marian shrine of Czestochowa, where the Polish people for centuries fostered their filial devotion to the Mother of God.