Following all of the other buildings and monuments and most especially coats of arms we saw in our one-day excursion to Ghent, Belgium, we made our way towards the Cathedral. So first, a little background on the Cathedral itself:
Saint Bavo’s Cathedral (in Dutch, Sint Baafskathedraal) is an 89-meter (292 feet) tall Catholic cathedral in the heart of Ghent. It is the seat of the Diocese of Ghent, is named for Saint Bavo of Ghent, and contains the well-known Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. In 1539, as a result of the rebellion against Charles V, who was baptized in the church, the old Abbey of St. Bavo was dissolved. Its abbot and monks went on to become canons in a Chapter that was attached to what then became the Church of Saint Bavo. When the Diocese of Ghent was founded in 1559, the church became its cathedral. Construction was considered complete on June 7, 1569.
The medieval (and very rich) Abbey of St. Bavo in Ghent was secularized in the middle of the 16th century, being turned into a collegiate chapter. A generation later the bishopric of Ghent was established with the office of Provost of the St. Bavo Chapter being merged with that of Bishop (to provide it with a bigger income). So the bishopric took the arms of the medieval abbey: Azure a lion rampant barry of six argent and gules crowned armed and langued or.
Found on a reliquary, these arms are for either Bishop Philippe Erard van der Noot or Bishop Maximilian Antoon van der Noot. The are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure a lion rampant barry of six argent and gules crowned or (Bishop of St. Bavo); 2 and 3, Or a Celtic cross bottony sable. (Quarters two and three should be, of course, Or five escallops in cross sable. I could find no Bishops bearing arms with this cross. I suspect that the needleworker was copying from a very roughly drawn sketch.) Motto: Respice firen (which should be Respice finem (Look [to the] end).