The cross shown here is the Sri Lankan cross inspired by the St. Thomas cross found in archeological excavations carried out in historic Anuradhapura. It is also the Glorious Cross or the Cross of the Resurrection – which is seen germinating and sprouting forth life.
The cross is colored in blue to remind us of the consecration of our Country to Our Lady of Lanka after the World War II. Also speaks of our love and devotion to Mother Mary. This is the colour used for the cross in the Sri Lankan Catholic flag.
Shows Pope Francis’s personal mitre in red and yellow. Mitre bands falling loose on either side embraces the two most important words of the occasion ‘Pope Francis’ “Sri Lanka 2015’. The mitre of Pope Francis representing the Mother Church our spiritual strength, guide and leader, makes up the background to the Sri Lankan cross depicting the Sri Lankan Church.
BLESSED JOSEPH VAS
Blessed Joseph Vas known also as the ‘Apostle of Sri Lanka’ is shown holding the cross of Sri Lanka and pointing to it. He is the architect of the survived Church of Sri Lanka for if he did not come during the Dutch persecution the seed that the Portuguese missionaries sowed would have died. It is also Fr. Joseph Vas’ Congregation that provided priest to Sri Lanka for 150 years (During the Dutch persecution period) to sustain his missionary zeal.
We see his fingers pointed, as in the Michael Angelo painting of the ‘Creation of Adam’ in the Sistine Chapel. For it is with this gesture that God is shown to give life to man and as such here it is used to show the giving of life to the persecuted Catholic Church of Lanka. The same language is used by artist Caravaggio in his painting ‘The Call of Mathew’. Interpreting further and into the present day, Bl. Joseph Vas uses the same language calling us to be part of the mission of Jesus.
COLORED CURVES :
On either side of the Pope’s mitre are the four colors : maroon, orange, green and yellow, symbolizing the multi ethnic, multi religious Sri Lankan Nation. These colors on either side of the mitre also indicate that we the Sri Lankan Catholic Church warmly welcomes Pope Francis to our fold.
The ultimate composition looks like a lotus bud - the ‘Nil Manel’ flower which is the national flower of Sri Lanka.
The logo shows : The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka who accepts the loving leadership of Pope Francis as its chief Shepherd, warmly welcomes Pope Francis to Sri Lanka.
NB. The earliest archeological evidence of Christianity in Sri Lanka is found in a stylized carving of a cross. This cross was found in 1912 by the Archeology Department while excavating the citadel of Anuradhapura. The cross is cut in sunk relief on the side of a smooth granite column of which a fragment was excavated. Scholars believe that it belonged to a Christian building during the Anuradhapura kingdom. Today it is exhibited in the National Museum Anuradhapura Gallery 1. A notice under it reads “… cross from Anuradhapura 6 - 16th century”
On the same subject it is interesting to note that the first and main literary evidence of the existence of a Christian community has been attributed to around the 5th -6th centuries AD. This is based on a passage from Christian Topography written in the early 6th century by Cosmas Indicopleustes, a Greek from Alexandria who visited Sri Lanka some where in the 6th century. He says that in Taprobane an island in India where the Indian sea is, there is also a Christian church there and clergy and faithful.