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Bishop Ronald A. Hicks

Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms


Arms impaled. In the dexter: Azure, between two fleurs-de-lis and issuant from a trimount in base a cross throughout wavy all Or, overall, at the center of the cross a square Or charged with a crescent inverted checky Sable and Or. (Diocese of Joliet). In the sinister: Azure, on a fess wavy argent a sprig of rosemary Proper; in chief a sword and a quill in saltire Or below a heart Gules fimbriated Argent; in base a spring of lily of three blossoms Argent. (Bishop Hicks). The achievement is ensigned with an episcopal cross Or behind the shield and a bishop’s galero Vert cords and twelve tassels disposed in three rows of one, two and three all Vert. On a scroll below the shield the motto: “Paz y Bien.”


Bishop Hicks’ coat of arms is composed of a shield. By tradition, the design is described (blazoned) as if the shield is being worn on the arm of its bearer.

The left side of the shield bears the arms of the Diocese of Joliet, which is the jurisdiction of Bishop Hicks. The wavy line cross represents the northern reaches of the Mississippi River, which Louis Joliet and Fr. Jacques Marquette explored. The checkered crescent comes from the coat of arms of the family of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of the diocese. The two fleurs- de-lis honor the Blessed Virgin and commemorate the French ancestry of Louis Joliet, for whom the city/diocese of Joliet is named. The trimount is taken from the coat of arms of Pope Pius XII, who established the Joliet diocese.

The right side of the shield bears Bishop Hicks’ personal coat of arms, which combines symbols that are meaningful to him and reflect his life and priestly ministry. The blue field (background) represents water, symbolizing Lake Michigan to honor Bishop Hicks’ hometown of South Holland, Illinois, and Chicago’s 18 miles of shoreline.

In the middle of the blue field resides a white, wavy bar known as a fess, which features a sprig of rosemary. The Spanish word for “rosemary” is “romero.” This pays homage to the martyred archbishop of El Salvador, St. Oscar Romero, and to the people of Central America with whom Bishop Hicks lived and worked for five years.

Above the fess are a quill pen and sword, alluding to St. Paul, who likely died through beheading. The pen represents the saint’s writings, which were important to Bishop Hicks during his upbringing in an ecumenical family. The red heart above the pen and sword highlights the bishop’s love of his missionary service at NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos), as well as the heartfelt love of parishioners who have taught him that “love grows here.”

Below the fess is a white, three-blossom sprig of lilies that is taken from the arms of the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, where Bishop Hicks attended seminary, earned his doctor of ministry degree, and served on the faculty. It expresses his respect for all who serve on the faculty and staff and for the seminarians who respond “yes” to the Lord’s call.

For his motto, Bishop Hicks chose “Paz y Bien,” Spanish for “Peace and all Good.” This phrase, attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, emphasizes the true peace that comes from Christ and all the good he shares through his word and sacrament.

The design is completed with the external ornaments, including a gold processional cross that extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a galero, with six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield. The green color of the hat and tassels signify the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See.

The armorial bearings of Bishop Hicks were designed by the late Deacon Paul Sullivan and marshaled to those of the Diocese of Joliet and emblazoned by the Rev. Guy Selvester, a priest of the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey.