X. N. Acosta

Emblazonment by Steve Yambao.

X. N. Acosta is a Catholic priest born in San Fernando de La Union and living in Angat, Bulacan.

Description and symbolism:

The principal figure is a dog which represents the Armiger. Commonly associated with traits of courage, vigilance, loyalty, and fidelity, the dog alludes to the role of the priest as a watchdog against evil and as guardian of the Christian faith. It is also a reference to the Armiger’s patron saint, Saint Joseph, chosen by God to be guardian of Jesus Christ and of His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and by extension, the Church. The dog’s ears are erect to signify not just alertness, but also readiness to listen, above all, to the Word of God.

The fish is a traditional symbol of Jesus Christ, having several references in the Gospels, and because “fish” in the Greek language is used as an acronym to proclaim faith in “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.” It is in the dog’s mouth in reference to the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist which the Armiger, as a priest, confects, receives as nourishment, and ministers to others.

The waves are canting to the family name, meaning living by or near the coast, and allude to the Acosta family’s origins from coastal regions. They also represent the waters of baptism, and of the Armiger as a pilgrim.

The mountain surmounted by a cross signifies Mount Carmel and the Order of Discalced Carmelites, whose doctrine and spirituality the Armiger received and strives to live by. The shape of the cross on the mountain is a nod to the profession cross of the Armiger’s secular institute founded by a Discalced Carmelite priest.

On either side of the mountain is a lily, signifying Mary and Joseph and their chaste love for one another. The lily is also a traditional symbol of the annunciation of Jesus’ incarnation, birth and resurrection. Mary is Lady of the Order of Mount Carmel and also, “Notre Dame de Vie” (Our Lady of Life), the name of the Armiger’s secular institute. The background of the mountain is blue, as a reference to spiritual “dark nights” made bearable thanks to the maternal presence of Mary.

The owner’s motto is taken from an anecdote about Saint John of the Cross, a reformer of the Carmelite Order. According to that anecdote, Jesus Christ spoke to John from a painting, asking him, “John, what would you have in exchange for all these labors of yours?” In response, John said, “Pati et contemni pro te, Domine” (To suffer and to be despised for you, Lord).

Blazon: Shield: Per chevron ployé patté at the point Azure and Argent, in base two barrulets wavy Azure, overall a dog sejant Gules collared and holding in its mouth a fish Or, in chief two lilies Argent seeded, slipped and leaved Or.

Motto: Pati et contemni pro te, Domine (To suffer and to be despised for you, Lord)

Assumed/granting authority: Assumed, January 25, 2023. Registered, Philippine Armorial, January 28, 2023.

Image and information submitted by the Armiger.

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