At the request of His Excellency the Most Reverend William Edward Lori, Bishop of Bridgeport, in his letter of the 19th of May in the year 2009, prompted by the prayers and appeals by the clergy and faithful, the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by the unique authority granted by the Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI, grants to the parish church dedicated to the Glory of God in honor of Saint John the Evangelist in the city of Stamford, in the above-mentioned diocese, the title and dignity of MINOR BASILICA, with all due liturgical ceremonies faithfully observed in accord with the Decree De Titulo Basilicae Minoris of the 9th day of November in the year 1989, in the common estimation.
All things to the contrary notwithstanding
Given at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on the 16th day of July in the year 2009, on the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.
Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist
BLAZON: Quarterly gules and azure, a cross or, between I and IV: I: a shell or; II: a lion’s head couped and crowned or; III: a fess wavy Argent, below a crescent of the same; IV: an eagle of Saint John or, carrying a scroll argent.
SIGNIFICANCE: The gold Cross overall represents the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which won salvation for us.
The golden Shell in the left top quarter on a red field is taken from the coat-of-arms of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI who named raised our parish to the dignity of a Minor Basilica on July 16, 2009.
The gold Crowned Lion in the right top quarter on a blue field is taken from the coat-or-arms of Blessed Pius IX during whose pontificate the parish of Saint John the Evangelist was established in 1854.
The silver Crescent Moon in the left bottom quarter on a blue field, represents the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: this dogma was defined by Blessed Pius IX in 1854, the same year Saint John’s became an independent parish.
The silver Wavy Bar in the left bottom quarter on a blue field represents water: it is found in the coat-of-arms of the Archdiocese of Hartford, whose bishop established Saint John’s in 1854, and in the coat-of-arms of the Diocese of Bridgeport, and also is a symbol of the Port of Stamford and the Mill River, close by the parish, which were essential in the development of the City at the time of the founding of Saint John’s.
The gold Eagle holding a silver Scroll in the bottom right quarter on a red field is the traditional symbol of Saint John the Evangelist, patron of the parish, and is taken from Ezekial 10:14.
The motto, “Behold your Mother” [John 19:27], are the words Our Lord spoke from the Cross to Saint John, the Beloved Disciple, entrusting His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary to John’s care. The motto is also reminiscent of the traditional title of Saint John’s Parish as the Mother Church of Stamford. The position of the Crescent Moon, symbol of Our Lady, and the Eagle of Saint John, are those traditionally assigned to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint John at the foot of the Cross.
The coat-of-arms was designed by Father Matthew Mauriello, Pastor of Saint Roch’s Parish in Greenwich. The parish is very grateful to him for his generosity.