Joseph Thomas O'Keefe

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Born : March 12, 1919
Deceased : September 2, 1997

Auxiliary Bishop of New York, 1982–1987
Bishop of Syracuse, 1987—1995

Arms of Joseph Thomas O'Keefe

Auxiliary Bishop of New York
Arms of Joseph Thomas O'Keefe

Bishop of Syracuse

Official blazon


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

The base color of the arms is red or gules (signifies strength and magnanimity) with a silver or argent (represents peace and sincerity) saltire (signifies resolution) which are the reverse of the traditional cross of St. Patrick.

At the intersection of the cross are the charges. The top charge, a lily represents St. Joseph, Bishop Joseph O'Keefe's patron. The crescent represents the Virgin Mary. On either side of the saltire are two lions rampant facing each other taken from some O'Keefe and O'Sullivan family arms honoring the parents of the bishop (who had no own arms). The eagle on the bottom represents St. John the Evangelist remembering the parish where the bishop served at the time of his appointment as a bis hop.

The bishop's motto, in Latin, Adspice in Jesum is from the letter to the Hebrews, "Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus , on whom our faith depends from beginning to end." (Hebrews 12 : 1-2)

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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