When Bishop Jules B. Jeanmard was appointed First Bishop of Lafayette in 1918, the design of his personal coat of arms reflected biblical and family connections as well as his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Bishop Jeanmard’s coat of arms carries the Latin motto “Sub tuum praesidium” (under thy protection), a phrase from the antiphon at Lauds in the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin. Prominent at the top of the right side of the coat of arms is a demi-eagle, traditional symbol of John the Evangelist, and family patron of the Jeanmard family, as Jean is French for John. The right hand and forearm on the shield are symbols of Old Testament figure, Benjamin, whose name means “son of my right hand”. The hand carries a lily, in honor of Our Lady. Bishop Jeanmard had such strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin he even designated August 15, feast of the Assumption, as his birthday, although he was actually born in early September.
The Bishop’s shield is topped by the customary green hat with six tassels, Episcopal cross, mitre and rosier in gold. The eagle is blue on a silver field, the sleeve, hand and lily are silver on a blue field. Silver and blue are the colors of Our Lady.