H.E. Most Reverend
PRECIOSO D. CANTILLAS, S.D.B.,DD
Second Bishop of Maasin
On the right side is the symbol of the Diocese of Maasin - a gold field
splattered with grains of salt, a green palm branch, a silver fleur-de-lis surrounded by a crown of twelve stars and a crescent moon.
“Maasin” means “abundant salt”. Salt preserves life and symbolizes Wisdom (gold tint)
The silver fleur-de-lis represents the patroness of the Diocese, Our Lady of the Assumption, a “woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev. 12,1). To distinguish her from Our Lady of the Universe, her death is referred to with the palm branch which, as legend has it, was presented to the Virgin Mary by an angel after she prayed to be united with her Son in heaven. Mary entrusted the palm branch to the Apostle John, whom she took as her own son after the branch the crucifixion, and whom she asked to hold before her at her burial.
The left side contains the Bishop’s personal coat-of-arms - the chalice, a harp and a gear.
The chalice contains the Precious blood of Christ in whose honor the bishop was named. The cup reminds him to the Lord’s obedience to the Father’s will. From this he draws inspiration to persevere in his priestly vocation. To this, he will endeavor to guide and shepherd the flock entrusted to his care.
The harp symbolizes biblical canticles (a word echoed in the name Cantillas), which are songs of worship that prove beyond doubt the reality of God and His pervading presence in the lives of men. It is this Presence that the bishop aspires to make the people more conscious and aware of.
The gear symbolizes the world of work, to which as a Salesian of Don Bosco educated the youth. Work is the lot of every man to! With the love of work as a divine gift, man’s otherwise humdrum existence - suggested by the monotonous, repetitive motion of the gear - becomes a new canticle of joy and praise to God.
Receiving inspiration from Mary Assumed into heaven after a life of perfect submission to God’s will, and drawing strength from the Precious Blood of the Redeemer, the Bishop aims to joyfully lead the flock in singing a new song to the Lord: Cantabo canticum novum!