Christ the King
Loyola University, 1911
Los Angeles, California
The central window in the apse of the Chapel features an image of Christ as the universal King. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, thought of Christ as the ideal king whose cause was the care of all humanity and creation, and who cared for his people to the point of giving his life for them. The figure of Christ is robed in the royal purple mantle of wisdom and justice; in His hands are the scepter of authority and the golden orb of sovereignty. His head is encircled by a golden crown, symbolic not only of royalty but also of victory over death and the power of evil. A golden stole is crossed over His chest, symbolic of the priestly office of the Redeemer. Thus the figure presents Christ in the threefold office of Priest, Prophet, and King. Beneath the feet of the figure are the words “King of Kings,” and the monogram of "the Christ" which is composed of the first two Greek letters of XPIΣTOΣ (Christ.)
Because the chapel was built before the merger with Marymount College, the coat of arms is that of Loyola University of Los Angeles. In the upper left quadrant of the shield is the Loyola coat of arms. Loyola is a contraction of the Spanish words “lobo” (wolf), and “olla” (a pot or cauldron), because the Loyola family was said to have extended their generosity and hospitality even to the beasts of the wilderness. The coat of arms also contains seven diagonal stripes representing a royal award for valor given to seven men of the family of Oñaz of which St. Ignatius’s mother was a member.
In the upper right of the coat of arms is the insignia of the Society of Jesus, IHS, the first three Greek letters for the English word “Jesus.” A heart pierced by an arrow represents Christ’s love. The two symbols in combination signify the devotion of the Society of Jesus to the Person of Christ.
In the lower left quadrant of the coat of arms are three angels, as in the insignia of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In the lower right quadrant is a grizzly bear, as in the flag of California, signifying ferocity against all foes.
An additional symbol is a star, the western star of hope that, according to legend, guided pioneers to the shores of the Pacific. The inscription reads: “Loyola University of Los Angeles”; the foundation date is 1911. Crimson and gray are the school colors.