About Our Crest
The heraldry in our crest dates to the earliest period in which coats of arms were used, inspired by elements common in crests of the first four centuries. We used symbols from this time because they represent a unified church pre-dating its Roman Catholic influence. The crest also avoids the more cluttered Anglican forms of heraldry. The newest element is the Pelican itself, which dates to the early middle ages.
The Chi Rho
The base of our crest, underneath the shield, is the Chi Rho symbol. We also use the Alpha and Omega on top of the shield in conjunction with the Chi Rho to indicate Christ’s divinity as was customarily done near the time of the Arian heresy, which denied the full divinity of Christ.
In Greek, the Chi and Rho are the first two letters of the name “Christ.” The earliest Christians used this symbol, combined with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega to symbolize Christ. Alpha and Omega, of course, symbolize that Christ is the beginning and the end of everything. Because of persecution, these symbols can be found embedded in early Christian art to express their Christianity. On the Ambrose crest, the Chi Rho underlies our crest as Christ forms the foundation of our entire purpose.
Medieval Christians used the pelican as a symbol of love, charity, and piety. Because of the preening habits of the pelican, it was believed that she would pierce her chest with her bill and use her own blood to nourish her young (as seen in this medieval rendition). On the Ambrose crest, we use the pelican to represent the self-sacrificing Christian virtue that we seek to instill in our graduates.
In ancient Rome, public servants wore blue. As our students develop their character in a self-centered world, we want them to be mindful that they are first and foremost servants. First, servants of Christ. Secondly, servants of their fellow man. In contrast with modern thinking, the Christian worldview is one that does not ask, “What’s in it for me,” but rather asks, “In what role am I to serve?”
(339-397AD)- Bishop of Milan. Ambrose was a classically educated political leader who did not believe himself qualified for a clerical position because he lacked religious training. Even so, Ambrose took strong doctrinal stands against the heresies of the time. Ambrose’s most notable action was to excommunicate Theodocius, the emperor of Rome, after he killed over 7000 civilians for the murder of a Roman General. This action brought Theodocius to repentance and is credited as a turning point of Christian influence on the culture. This integration of faith with the culture demonstrates the power of a Christian worldview, which makes Ambrose a powerful symbol for our school. Ambrose was also classically educated and influenced St. Augustine, one of the fathers of Christian doctrine.