A Monastic Pedigree in Symbols

Nunraw Heraldry

Sancta Maria Abbey, Nunraw, was granted a coat of arms in accordance with the Law of Scotland, on November 9th 1954 by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. The arms trace the monastic parentage of the Abbey. 1. France: Azure semy of fleurs-de-lys Or: i.e. blue sprinkled with gold lilies. 2. Burgundy: bendy Or and Azure within a bordure Gules: i.e. gold and blue diagonal stripes left to right in a red border. 3. The Abbey of Citeaux, motherhouse of the Order to which it gives its name (Latin Cistercium) uses no. 1 with no.2 on a small shield inside it. 4. Mount St Joseph’s Abbey. Roscrea, Ireland: Pean, on a chief nebuly Azure five estoiles of plain points Argent three and two, on a canton Or a rose Gules barbed and seeded Proper, over all an eagle rising of the fourth i.e. a backround of black with spots of gold fur on which is placed a blue box with a cloudy/curvy edge on which are arranged five siver stars in a three-and-two formation and in the left corner a gold box with a rose in it, the whole thing covered by a standing gold eagle. 5. The ancient Cistercian nunnery at Haddington of which Nunraw was the grange provides Azure two fleurs-de-lys Argent within a bordure Or. i.e. a blue shield with two silver fleurs-de-lys in a gold border. The Nunraw arms dimidiate or halve two shields and two inner shields which is why we only see half of the charges in coats 5 and 6. The full blazon or legal description of this very compicated coat of arms is: Per pale, dexter Azure semé de lys Or; sinister Pean three eagles’ heads erased alternately with as many mullets Argent in orle. Over all an inescutcheon Per pale: dexter bendy of six Or and Azure within a bordure Gules; sinister Azure a fleur-de-lis Argent within a bordure Or. per pale means split down the middle, dexter means left, sinister right. Abbot Columban Mulcahy The same entry in the Lyon Register matriculates the personal Irish arms of the first abbot, Dom Columban Mulcahy. Vert a dove rising Argent between three mullets Or.