Justin Joseph McCarthy

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Born : November 26, 1900 in Sayre, Pennsylvania, USA
Deceased : December 26, 1959

Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, 1954-1957
Bishop of Camden, 1957—1959

Arms of Justin Joseph McCarthy

Auxiliary Bishop of Newark
Arms of Justin Joseph McCarthy

Bishop of Camden

Official blazon

Impaled Arms. Dexter: sable, three latin crosses botonny or, debruised at their base with three elephant's heads erased argent, in chief a crescent of the last (Diocese of Camden). Sinister: Vert, a stag trippant or, attired and unguled gules, on a chief of the second a sword, hilt to the base, bearing the Scales of Justice of the third (Bishop McCarthy).
Motto: "Maria Advocata Nostra."


As common in US episcopal heraldry, the arms show the arms of the diocese impaled with the personal arms of the bishop.

The personal arms of Bishop McCarthy are based on the ancient and well-known symbol of the McCarthy family, the stag trippant, albeit differenced in tinctures as is a custom in prelatical heraldry. The McCarthy arms usually consists of a red stag on a silver field. This illustrious family, which built Blarney Castle in the year 1449 and also erected Ross Castle and Mucross Abbey, has many branches. It is unusual to have such a family of so many branches bear the same coat of arms for all branches with only minor, if any, differences in tinctures.

The baptismal name of the Bishop, Justin, is represented in the chief. Justin, a common name among the McCarthys, is derived from a Gaelic root which means "noble judge." Hence, the representation of the Scales of Justice in the chief. The sword with its red tincture, as well as the like tincture of the scales, represents St. Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, the baptismal patron of Bishop McCarthy. St. Justin, whose feast is celebrated on April 14th, was born in the second century at Nablus in Palestine of pagan parents. He was converted to Christianity when about thirty years of age by reading the Scriptures and witnessing the heroism of the martyrs. He wrote some of the most instructive second century writings which we possess. He was martyred in Rome under the orders of Junius Rusticus, Prefect of Rome, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Red, the liturgical color of martyrdom is appropriate for this saint who was beheaded in Rome in testimony of his Faith. The acts of his trial ,and martyrdom are among the most valuable and authentic which have come down to us.

The sword is also a symbol of "Our Lady of Sorrows," the titular of the church of which Bishop McCarthy was pastor at the time of his·appointment to the hierarchy. The sword recalls the words of the Prophet Simeon when the Mother of God presented her Divine Son in the temple: "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And they own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed (Luke II. 34,35)."

The motto "Maria Advocata Nostra," is translated "Mary Our Advocate."

The achievement is completed with the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See, of March 1969, confirmed in March 2001.

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Literature : Information from the diocese of Camden