Arms: Argent guttée-de-larmes, on a pale Vert a tower ensigned with a crown antique Argent.
Crest: A raven close holding in its beak a sprig of clover Proper.
Motto: IN CARITATE ET AMORE (in charity and love)
The shield is Argent (white/silver) with tear drops, representing the inherent goodness of creation now laden with the tears of suffering; it is this vale of sorrow. It is interrupted, however, with the band of green—representing the promise of new life and growth—with the "Turris davidica," the Tower of David (2 Sam. 8:7 and Song of Songs 4:4) on it. As a Marian symbol, this indicates the way St. Mary's exaltation of her Son (of whom King David was a type) makes her a reliable refuge. More generally it represents the strength of the true Faith here and now, and the promise of the heavenly Jerusalem. The crest is a corvus (raven) holding a clover in its beak. Both the tear drops on the shield and the raven indicate the two possible Irish etymologies of my surname, Brannen: one possibility is that it evolved from the family name Ó Braonáin, derived from the word braon which could mean [tear] droplet, or more likely in context, sorrow; the other being that it evolved from the family name Ó Branáin, derived from the word bran, meaning raven. The raven's symbology is mysterious and complex, signifying divine foreknowledge, death, and wisdom, among other things. The clover again indicates Irish ancestry, and also the Trinitarian faith (á la St. Patrick). The motto is: In caritate et amore, meaning "in charity and love," which is how I mean to live, and referencing the ancient Latin hymn Ubi Caritas: "Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est" (where there is charity and love, there is God).