It was in 1926 that Pierre de Chaigon la Rose of Harvard University was commissioned to design our coat of arms. In Subiaco’s coat of arms the two ravens are taken from the coat of arms of the Benedictine abbeys of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland and of St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana. The two ravens are associated with the life and death of St. Meinrad and they also represent the two monasteries that cooperated in founding Subiaco Abbey.
According to the rule of heraldry, Subiaco’s coat of arms could not be an exact replica of Einsiedeln’s coat of arms. The two black ravens on a field of gold followed the Einsiedeln coat of arms. The rose emblem on the shoulder of each of the ravens denotes Subiaco in Italy, where St. Benedict began monasticism and where he resolved a major crisis in his vocation by casting himself into a thorn bush (traditionally a rose bush) to overcome a temptation of the flesh. The yellow/gold rose is the distinctive badge of Subiaco Abbey.
To show that Subiaco Abbey is a daughter of Einsiedeln Abbey, a straight narrow edge of black border is used, and to show that Subiaco Abbey is also a daughter of St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana, the black border is engrailed, with the inner line cusped.
You will see our coat of arms above the main Presider’s chair in the church choir area, as well as in numerous other places around the abbey.