From “The Private Diary of Bishop F. Atticus McButterpants” – 23-03-03

I don’t have any new entries from the private diary. Perhaps the mole has been caught. I don’t know.  I have some oldies somewhere.

However, I can now share a copy of the bishop’s coat of arms. I should have done this earlier. It’s on their diocesan website but it wasn’t a good image and that site is… not the easiest to navigate.

The coat-of-arms of His Excellency, Most Reverend Francis Atticus McButterpants, Bishop of Libville.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Dan Millette says:

    Thanks. Now I can’t unsee this.

  2. GHP says:

    Or a butterchurn Argent between three breeches two and one Purpur.

    In regular English:
    On a shield of gold is placed a silver butterchurn in the middle, between three pair of purple underpants arranged two in chief (upper part) and one in base (lower part).

    — Guy

  3. GHP says:

    I must say the stemma (arms) are rendered heraldically correct! Very pleasing to the eye and very uncluttered — able to recognize from a distance.

    Of course these are “canting arms” … making a pun on the bearer’s surname.

    — Guy

  4. GHP says:

    Final P.S. The arms do offend the rule that metal should not be placed upon metal (i.e., gold should not be on silver & vice versa); however, it should be noted that ecclesiastical arms sometimes break this rule (i.e., silver key crossing over a gold key).

    — Guy

    [Ummm… there’s no metal. That is just yellow “or” … like butter.]

    [Thinking more… question. Because of heraldry albums that had gold and silver leaf for yellow and gold – not that these clerics would ever be interested in either! … is the concept of white on yellow automatically thought to be metal on metal? And sure there is an old metal hit to ocver this.]

  5. TheCavalierHatherly says:

    Is his family from the county Butter-Briste in the west of Ireland, or do they hail from glen Butterpants in the scottish lowlands?

  6. OK_doc says:

    I have it on good authority that the family originated in the rural hills of Wales, living on a remote homestead named Butter Pant (pant being the Welsh word for “hollow”). The homestead and family there were known for producing the most delicious butter in the region. The area did not have a large grazing pasture but the stream never failed and the milk cows gave milk high in butterfat that the family made into the sweetest butter.
    During the reign of Elizabeth I, one son of the family left Wales rather than renounce his Catholic faith and took the short boat ride across to Ireland. To fit into Irish society better, he morphed the name to McButterpants. The family flourished until the Great Hunger potato famine and like many Irish, they fled to America in the 1850s.

    It appears “Atticus” was a family name, popping up every other generation or so; still trying to find the origin of that.
    Apparently, in designing his coat of arms, our good bishop was either unaware of the family history or chose to be the punster.

  7. GHP says:

    Fr.Z asks: “…is the concept of white on yellow automatically thought to be metal on metal? And sure there is an old metal hit to cover this….”

    Yes, Father, they are automatically considered metal. Gold is rendered with yellow and silver with white — all yellow in heraldry is “gold” and all white is “silver” unless it is described as Proper, it’s natural color. I.e., “butter Proper” would be emblazoned as butter colored yellow. Still, heraldists try not to use “proper” too much and even then try to keep white and yellow from touching.

    If the blazon [written description] were “a rose proper” …. the rose could actually be emblazoned (painted) yellow, pink, white, etc., since there are yellow, pink, and white roses — or pink, etc; however if the blazon is “a rose gules slipped vert” it will forever be painted red with green stalk and leaves.

    The blazon of the Lancastrian white rose is: A rose argent barbed and seeded proper [white rose, green thorns, gold seeded center]

    — Guy

    [You get the OR Star For The Day!]

  8. Sue in soCal says:

    Very clever, Father. I chuckled at the “face” you made!

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