The Coat of Arms of Joseph William Cardinal Tobin is a combination of his personal coat of arms as a bishop and the coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Newark.
His personal coat of arms, represented on the right side of the shield as one views it, consists of three elements: a Cross between a perch with a sponge in bend and a spear in bar, supported by a mount of three coupeaux vert (green), before an argent (silver/white) field; three oak leaves on a field of azure (blue), and; a fleur de lis on a field of gules (red), a symbol of transparency, Justice and Truth.
The cross between the perch with the sponge and the spear, the mount representing the event on the Golgota and the vert (green) color recalling the Hope and Virtue that holds us in the pilgrimage toward Salvation come from the coat of arms of the C.Ss.R. (Redemptorists) Congregation to which His Eminence belongs.
The oak leaves come from the crest of the Tobin family. In heraldry, the oak is the symbol of strength necessary to follow the Word of God to reach, at the end of our pilgrimage on earth, the salvation of our souls. The azure (blue) field symbolizes the separation from the worldly values and the ascent of the soul toward God, the Celestial Virtues that raise us from the things of the earth toward the sky.
The fleur de lis is a classical symbol of the iconography of Saint Joseph, the Cardinal’s patron saint, and the gules (red) field symbolizes the Love of the Father who sent the Son to shed His blood for us.
His Eminence chose the motto Gaudate in Domino – Rejoice in the Lord – from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4)
The left side of the shield displays the jurisdictional arms of the Archdiocese of Newark, based on the coat of arms of Newark, Nottinghamshire, England, to reflect the origins of the name of the See City. The upper portion of the arms of the Archdiocese includes an argent (silver/white) crescent between two silver/white trefoils (heraldic shamrocks). The crescent is to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in her title of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Archdiocese, the United States of America and the major seminary of the Archdiocese. This ancient symbol of Mary is derived from the Book of Revelations: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.” (Rev. 12:1) The shamrocks are to honor St. Patrick, titular patron of the Pro-Cathedral; and the gules (red) background of the upper portion signifies the blood coming forth from Christ’s Sacred Heart, the title of the Cathedral Basilica of Newark.
The azure (blue) and argent (silver/white) waves are generally seen as heraldic representations for rivers or bodies of water. The City of Newark in England is located on the River Trent. In New Jersey, parts of the Hackensack, Hudson, Passaic, Rahway, Raritan and Saddle Rivers flow through the Archdiocese of Newark.
The external ornaments are composed of the red pontifical hat with 15 tassels on each side, a gold archiepiscopal processional cross (having two cross members), and a pallium with small black crosses signifying both a Metropolitan Archbishop’s authority and his connection to the Holy Father.