The Notre Dame Crest

The Notre Dame Crest

We often think of "logos" as a relatively new concept. The term "logo" may be contemporary, but their purpose was served by many predecessors including crests. 

After the beatification of Julie Billiart in 1906, a crest design for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur was created and formally approved. It became widely used in art decorating Notre Dame de Namur convents, chapels and schools. A simple black and white rendition of the crest was often used by Notre Dame schools as their "logo."

The symbols incorporated into the crest each say something about Saint Julie or the community she founded:

  • The crown and the blue behind the stars represent Our Lady, patronness of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.     
  • The red Cross and the ND represent Saint Julie's founding vision that the congregation would be marked by the cross.
  • The three stars represent a number of things: the theological virtues of faith, hope & love all Christians strive to live;  the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience taken by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur;  and simplicity, charity and obedience which are characteristic virtues of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
  • The white lilies symbolize purity and the red roses symbolize charity. Saint Julie, who was baptized Marie-Rose Julie, was sometimes known as the Rose of Picardy. 
  • The final symbol is Julie's favorite saying: Ah! Qu'il est bon le bone Dieu. How good is the Good God. This saying is incorporated on the back of the cross worn by all Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur today.

The Ohio Unit Archive and Museum holds many renditions of the Notre Dame crest, including a stained glass window that is used to denote this blog.