The seal of the Archdiocese of Detroit is a symbol of the people and events that helped shape our Catholic community. In the shape of a shield adorned with a jeweled mitre, the seal of the archdiocese represents the founding of the church in Detroit.
The shield is colored gold with a black cross and symbols to denote the crest of St. Isaac Jogues who was a Jesuit priest tortured and martyred by Native Americans in the 1640s.
The shield is also marked with a cross and three stars to represent the Holy Trinity, a cornerstone of Catholic faith. We believe God takes three forms—the father, the son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. The stars, alone, are also symbolic of the American flag.
The cross cuts the shield into four sections, which are filled with symbols of Detroit’s history and rich natural landscape. The top left section contains a pair of antlers, which is a symbol of Michigan’s abundance of whitetail deer.
Each of the three other sections contains a martlet. The bird has feathers instead of feet and therefore he cannot land. The martlet denotes a never-ending quest for knowledge. The martlet is commonly seen in heraldry but on our coat of arms is a symbol of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who founded Fort Pontchartrain and Ste. Anne Church here in 1701.