Official logo for the Papal Visit 2015

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CROSS:-The cross shown here is the ‘Sri Lankan Cross’ inspired by ‘The St. Thomas Cross’ discovered in archeological excavations carried out in historic Anuradhapura. It is also the Glorious Cross or the Cross of the Resurrection – which shows the dead wood of the cross coming into life, germinating and sprouting forth new life, a pre-figuration of the resurrection.

The Cross is coloured in blue to remind us of the consecration of our Country to Our Lady of Lanka after World War II. It also speaks of our love and devotion to Mother Mary – Our Lady of Lanka.

This is the colour used for the cross on the Sri Lankan Catholic flag.

MITRE:-Shows the Mitre – in white and yellow, as depicted in the Court-of-arms of Pope Francis I. The lappets hanging down from the back, is shown in red and yellow on either side embracing the two most important words of the occasion – ‘Pope Francis’ ‘Sri Lanka 2015′. The Mitre of Pope Francis our spiritual strength, guide and leader – represents the Mother Church. The Mitre that represents the Universal Church makes up the background to the Sri Lankan Cross that represents the Sri Lankan Church.

BLESSED JOSEPH VAS:-Blessed Joseph Vaz referred to as ‘The Apostle of Sri Lanka’ by Pope St. John Paul II at the Beatification Ceremony in 1995, is shown holding the Cross of Sri Lanka and pointing to it. He is the architect of the survived Church of Sri Lanka, for if he had not arrived in Sri Lanka during the Dutch persecution, the seed that the Portuguese Missionaries sowed would have died. It is also Fr. Joseph Vaz’ Congregation (Oratorians) that provided priests to Sri Lanka – for 150 years (during the Dutch persecution period), to carry out his missionary zeal and further propagate the faith.

We see his right index finger pointed, as in the Michael Angelo’s painting of the ‘Creation of Adam’ in the Sistine Chapel. For it is with this gesture that God is shown to give life to man, and as such, here it is used to show the giving of life to the persecuted Catholic Church of Lanka. The same language is used by artist Caravaggio in his painting ‘The Call of Matthew’. Interpreting further, and into the present day, Blessed Joseph Vaz uses the same language to call us to be part of the mission and follow Jesus.

COLORED CURVES:-On either side of the Pope’s Mitre are the four colors of the Sri Lankan flag – maroon, orange, green and yellow, symbolizing the multi ethnic, multi religious Sri Lankan Nation. These colors on either side of the Mitre formed like two hands ready to clasp the Mitre – also indicate that we the Sri Lankan Catholic Church warmly welcomes Pope Francis to our fold.

SHAPE:-The ultimate composition looks like a lotus bud – the Blue Water Lily or ‘Nil Manel’ flower, which is the National Flower of Sri Lanka.

FINALLY:-The Logo shows – The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka which accepts the loving leadership of Pope Francis as her Chief Shepherd, and warmly welcomes him to her midst.

Description by – Fr. Priyantha Silva – the Designer of the LOGO

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