University of Havana
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UNIVERSITY OF HAVANA
Que se discurre para Sello mayor un Escudo de figura obal, que es el que compete a lo Eclesiastico, el qual tenga una imagen del Señor San Gerónimo, que es el Patrón de esta Universidad, y un Cordero con el Agnus Dei, que son las Armas de este Convento de San Juan de Letrán, y un Can con un Hacha en la boca alumbrando á un Orbe, y una Estrella en significación de la Religión de Predicadores, cuyos campos sean los mas convenientes en quanto á sitio, y colores mas alusivos, los que dexa a la determinación de su Magestad por sus Ministros Reyes de Armas, y que al ededor del obal tenga por orla este rotulo: Acadm. S. Hier. conV. S. Joan. Later. Ord. Praed. liaban.
Note: The blazon is likely unheraldic, included in the statutes of the university from 1721.
The university was founded by the Dominicans, who were granted papal authorisation by Innocent XIII on the 12th September 1721. The university was originally called the Royal and Pontifical University of San Geronimo, of Havana, with San Geronimo being the patron of teachers and students. Six years later, on the 26th July 1734, the statutes of the university were approved by King Felipe V. The statutes included ...
The first field depicts a Lamb of God resting upon a closed book, a symbol of the convent of San Juan de Letrán (St. John the Baptist), where the university was founded. The second quarter contains a resting mastiff holding in its mouth a lit torch illuminating a globe, all beneath a star. This field is to represent the Dominican order which founded the university (note: Source claims that this is the coat of arms of the Dominican Order. Though the symbolism is indeed Dominican, most sources attribute different arms to the order). The third field depicts St. Geronimo, the university's patron.
Historically the arms were depicted beneath a Spanish royal crown but in the republican period of Cuba's history that has been removed. The arms are displayed in an oval shield with the edge inscribed with the words "Universidad de la Habana 1728" and topped with a pontifical cross.
Old arms of the university
Modern depiction of the arms