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The Shield of IVE

I. Description of the Shield

A French silver, shield with a Greek, red cross. On the cross at the top and on the right and left side, three flames of gold. In the center, a crown of gold. In the base, a silver lily. On the right and left upper and lower quarters, four letter in black. The shield bear a silver sword and is encircled by a rosary of gold.

II. Symbolism of the colors (names in the Provencal)

1.      Gold (Or): Faith, charity, temperance, nobility.

Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) Shield

2.      Silver (Argent): Chastity, sanctity, humility, and joy.

3.      Red (Gules): Love of God and neighbor, strength, magnanimity, generosity, grandeur.

4.      Black (Sable): Constitutions, wisdom, prudence, honesty.

III. Symbolism of the Shield

The shield explains the ideas taken from the writings of Saint Louis Maria Grignion de Montfort, which is intimately united to the spirituality of the Institute.

A.    Treatise of the True Devotion to the Virgin Mary

“They will have the two-edged sword of the word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart. The simplicity and self-sacrifice of Jesus will be reflected in their whole behavior.” (N. 59)

B.     Prayer for Missionaries

“Sons who are free but still in bondage to your love and your will; men after your own heart who, without taint or impediment of self-love, will carry out your will to the full and, like David of old, lay low all your enemies, with the Cross for their staff and the Rosary for their sling.” (N. 8)

The charism of the Institute of the Incarnte Word (IVE) is to “inculturate” the Gospel, in other words to prolong the Incarnation of the Word in all men and in all the manifestations of man. Thus, the reason for the red cross that covers the who area of silver indicating that the truth of Christ should include all men and all the realities of men. They are transformed by sanctifying them and bringing the joy of salvation. The crown of gold expresses his eternal and universal reign.

The three flames are the three religious vows according to the evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity, and obedience. The lily represents the Holy Virgin Mary and makes reference to the fourth vow of the members of the Institute in maternal slavery of love of Jesus in Mary according to Montfort.

The four letters are the initials of the Latin words, Verbum caro factum est (Jn. 1:14), with which Saint John in the prologue of his Gospel, makes reference to the Incarnation of the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Institute takes its name from this mystery referring to our Lord Jesus Christ.

The institute is fundamentally missionary.  Thus, the members have the responsibility to carry, transmit, and preach the Word of God which is living and true, and sharper than a two edged sword (Heb. 4:12). The rosary signifies the prayer and the inseparable presence of Mary in the apostolic work.