Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith’s coat of arms, contains a shield the shape of the shields of Zulu warriors.

The blue and the star at the top have dual meanings. They are part of the coat of arms of KwaZulu-Natal but the blue also represents the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Bishop Peter’s home parish was St. Mary’s in Pietermaritzburg. It is staffed by priests from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.  The star also represents the star of Bethlehem, and the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

The jagged gold edge also has several meanings.  The peaks reflect the Drakensberg mountains on the western border of KwaZulu-Natal, referred to as the barrier of spears by the Zulu people. The jagged edge also reflects the Cascade Mountain range on the eastern border of the Archdiocese of Portland. In the spiritual sense, they are symbolic of Jesus Christ in his ministry traversing the Galilean countryside and proclaiming the kingdom of God wherever people would listen.

The burning fire represents the Holy Spirit coming upon the Apostles and disciples at Pentecost. The hands below the fire represent arms being raised in praise and worship of God.

This is a heraldic representation of the image of the People of Praise community of which Bishop Smith has been a member for 31 years. The gold background is reflective of honoring Christ. Overall it is intended to reflect and honor the Trinity.

There is a rose at the center of the cross above the shield. This reflects Portland, the City of Roses and the Archdiocese of Portland, where Bishop Smith was ordained in 2001. The church awards a Golden Rose to Marian shrines and basilicas and this also reflects St. Mary’s Cathedral where Bishop Peter will be installed a bishop.

The motto is from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:27 — “Christ in you, hope for glory.”  It is a summary of Paul’s understanding of the indwelling Christ and how Christ is revealed to the world through his faithful people, the Church.

The spirit of the coat of arms is reflected in the thought of the 20th Century theologian Father Romano Guardini, who wrote, “In every Christian, Christ relives his own life anew….He lives and grows in each of us , that our faith may increase, our love may be strengthened, our Christianity constantly deepened….We must believe in spite of ourselves that we are reborn and bear Christ within us, and with him potential glory.”