The shield above captures several elements of the Oblates’ identity.
The Cross of Jesus our Savior is central to the life of the Oblate. Each Oblate is to be the body of Christ on the cross – totally and freely giving of himself to the Oblate community and the whole People of God.
In Jesus is our shield. He is in the words of the Prophet Isaiah, “my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my sure defense; he has become my salvation” (12:2).
The Rising Sun
An ancient symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus, the rising sun appears over the shield emblazoned with the initials VJ. Oblates are called to begin each day anew, knowing that God renews us each day and calls us into an ever-deepening relationship of Grace.
“Vive Jesu!” French for “Live Jesus” are the words which Francis begins his Introduction to the Devout Life with. The VJ is important to the Oblates because it is what our life is about: Living Jesus.
The olive branch (right) symbolizes peace achieved through gentleness and strength and only by the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.
The orange branch (left) symbolizes the first Oblate mission outside of France in South Africa along the Orange River in Pella. It is the symbol of Oblate apostolate in every age and in every corner of the world. It harkens the words of the Holy Father at the founding of the Oblates, “you will go out…through all the world.”
Tenui Nec Dimittam
The Latin sentence, “Tenui nec dimittam,” translates, “I have taken hold, and I will not let go.” It is from the Song of Songs in the Hebrew Scriptures, written by Solomon according to tradition and a favorite of St. Francis de Sales. We have found the Lord, our beloved, and we will never let go.