The St. Mary Shield & Motto

shieldAs a military device, a shield is a symbol of strength and recognition. The icons and colors displayed on a shield allowed those in the heat of battle to recognize more easily who was an ally or an enemy. In the history of the Church the crest or shield had an ecclesiastical role, symbolizing the strength of office, rank, or dignity of the individual or group. It was typically used to signify an allegiance to a certain cause, purpose or function, and united the bearer with a specific “family” or group.

In the spirit of our Catholic heritage and heraldry, we at St. Mary our Lady of the Snows Catholic School have adopted a shield to illustrate the values which we believe our school teaches and upholds.

The symbols on the shield are of two hands praying (representing sincerity and faith, specifically the fostering of true spirituality), a closed book (not the Bible; representing counsel and knowledge, specifically the academic mission of our school), and finally the St. Mary symbol of mother and child (representing our Church & school community under the patronage of the Blessed Mother). We believe that these three values, spirituality, knowledge, and community, uniquely describe the mission of St. Mary School and reflect our chosen motto:

“To shape the mind, body, and spirit of tomorrow’s leaders.” 

Thus, to highlight the motto after the Roman Catholic tradition, we have included three words in Latin around the border, “MENS,CORPUS, SPIRITUS,” which mean “MIND, BODY, SPIRIT.

The colors of the shield are the colors of our school. In the heraldic tradition white was the color of peace and sincerity, whereas blue was the color of truth and loyalty. In the Catholic tradition, the colors of blue and white are associated with the Blessed Mother, making them particularly meaningful to us.