A personal coat of arms has been used by the Pope and other Church hierarchy for 800 years. The symbolism on the coat of arms expresses the ideals of the owner, occupation or depicts some important event in that person’s life. It also shows the owners titles, rank, etc.
The Archbishop Metropolitan of Vilnius Gintaras Grušas’ coat of arms has a silver dove descending in flight representing the Holy Spirit, and twelve golden stars, which symbolizes the Virgin Mary in the blue area of the shield. Two rays, one silver and one red, reminds one of the mercy of God, who works through the Holy Spirit in the Church. In the lower red portion of the shield, the pillars of Gediminas are seen. This is Lithuania’s oldest national symbol.
A hat with ties and tassels identify the rank of the holder. A green hat with green ties and four rows of tassels on both sides shows that this coat of arms belongs to an archbishop. Beyond the shield there is a pastoralas with a double cross, where the longer piece indicates the owner’s hierarchical archbishop’s status.
At the bottom of the coat of arms there is a moto-Gratia, Misericordia et Pax. (Grace, mercy and peace). The shield’s white and red rays, which symbolize God’s mercy, allude to Saint Sister Faustina’s apparition, which happened in Vilnius, and the famous painting is based on. The red, white and blue colors symbolize the U.S., the country where the archbishop was born and raised, and the blue portion of the shield with 12 gold stars is related to the EU, which Lithuania is a member of.