Registration of arms presented by Heritage Malta to the Archbishop


Heritage Malta presented Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna with a document registering his coat of arms with the Office of the Chief Herald of Arms. ‘Scicluna’ is a very old Maltese surname said to be derived from Sicilian origins.

The document was presented at the Archbishop’s Curia in Floriana by the Chief Herald of Arms of Malta, Dr Charles A. Gauci, whose office within Heritage Malta’s remit regulates all heraldic emblems on the Maltese Islands. Anthony Scicluna, Heritage Malta’s Chairman, Russell Muscat, Heritage Malta’s International Relations Manager, and Roberto Buontempo, Malta’s Lieutenant of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, were also present.

The Archbishop thanked Heritage Malta for this courteous visit. He said that in spite of lengthy research, the etymology of the surname ‘Scicluna’ is still somewhat mysterious. He added that although traditionally the Archbishop’s coat of arms refers to the surnames of both the incumbent’s parents, he personally chose to have just the surname ‘Scicluna’ represented on his coat of arms.

Anthony Scicluna briefly outlined the setting up, in March 2019, of the Office of the Chief Herald of Arms of Malta within Heritage Malta, upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary. He expressed Heritage Malta’s hope that its collaboration with the Archdiocese of Malta would be further consolidated and extended in future, particularly in the fields of education and research.

Dr Gauci remarked that all arms granted or registered by the Chief Herald of Arms of Malta are made under the authority of Heritage Malta and are fully recognised by the State. He explained the composition of Archbishop Scicluna’s coat of arms, which consists of a white horse beneath a silver crescent and a golden rose. For the Archbishop, the red background of the coat of arms represents the passion of Christ, the horse represents St John’s vision of Christ as a white steed, the moon is a symbol of light even in darkness, and the rose was included on the Archbishop’s request since it represents the Virgin Mary.

Russell Muscat said that the Office of the Chief Herald of Arms, albeit relatively new, has already aroused considerable interest, both in Malta and abroad. He added that on an international level, talks are ongoing with foreign heraldry offices while locally Heritage Malta is creating awareness through masterclasses for adults and other activities aimed at children.