St. John LeLande
Loyola University of New Orleans, 1912
New Orleans, Louisiana
Saint John LeLande (1620 – 1646) was born and raised in Dieppe, France. In about 1642, he accompanied Saint Isaac Jogues to the mission in “New France,” where they served the Huron people. John came along at first as a lay volunteer who was highly skilled at living on the land. In 1646, he and Saint Isaac Jogues left Quebec with some Hurons; they were soon captured by war-making Mohawks. Shortly before his martyrdom by tomahawk at the hands of Mohawks, John was accepted into the Society of Jesus as a Jesuit Brother.
The saint is dressed in the clothing of the accomplished woodsman that he was, and is holding a Mohawk spear. At his side are two triangular crowns of thorns interlocked to make a six-petal flower on a yellow stake; this image represents his capture and eventual death. Below his feet are stylized waves representing the Lake of the Blessed Sacrament, now Lake George, where he served among the Native Americans.
The shield of Loyola University of New Orleans contains wolves and a cauldron to represent the school’s Jesuit affiliation. Two silver fleurs-de-lys above the cauldron symbolize the French origin of the city and the state of Louisiana. Between them is the seal of the Society of Jesus: IHS in silver on a black background with a halo of gold rays. The lower part of the shield depicts a pelican feeding her young with her blood, the symbol of the state of Louisiana. The various representations in the shield are meant to call to mind three cultural influences upon New Orleans: Spanish, French, and American. The inscription reads: Loyola University, New Orleans; the foundation date is 1912. The school colors are maroon and gold.