Papal Coat of Arms

Jill Burkee and Giancarlo Biagi

Made in Italy, 2010

 

The coat of arms of the Holy See has existed since the 15th century yet there has been many differenct forms of the papal emblems used since the 13th century.

The keys refer to the promise of Christ to Peter, " I will entrust you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven."  

The papal tiara has not been worn in modern times but it still remains as a papal heraldic symbol.  The original significance of the three crowns was lost over time and they have now come to represent the Pope's authority as priest, ruler and teacher.