The Magnolia School Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms is crowned with a magnolia flower in full bloom and the Latin words for each of our guiding principles:
VERITAS (truth), LIBERTAS (Freedom), and PULCHRITUDO (Beauty).
Magnolia School is so called as a reference to one of the iconic trees in its home of Houston. Natural magnolia groves grace many corners of our city, lending beauty and ease to what has become an increasingly sprawling and urban metropolis.
Additionally, in the symbol of the magnolia flower, we are called to reflect on the slow work involved in obtaining a single, flourishing magnolia bloom; from the necessary early growth and maturation of the tree, to the development of a bud, and finally to the fulfillment of a flower, fully in bloom.
This process mirrors not only the transformation of a child into an adult, but also the development and growth every human person is called to engage in over the course of their life.
TRUTH, FREEDOM, BEAUTY
Girls at Magnolia School will learn to pursue truth in all its forms and representations. They will learn the truth about themselves, their strengths, weakness, and temperaments, so that they can use their unique gifts to serve those around them. At Magnolia, students will encounter truth in the curriculum, in the lives of the faculty and staff, and in the spiritual formation offered to them.
Freedom is a key component of a Magnolia education. True freedom is essential to honor the dignity of the human person; coercion is incompatible with authentic love and relationships. Freedom is necessary to cultivate the mature habit of choosing what ought to be done. At Magnolia, students will have many opportunities to exercise their freedom and learn to use it responsibly.
Girls at Magnolia will be steeped in beauty. Beauty is a rich and deep concept that ultimately reaches back to the nature of God. Things on earth are beautiful insofar as they reflect the beauty of, as C.S. Lewis said, “the place where all the beauty came from.” Every aspect of a Magnolia education will be beautiful. Beauty will find a home in the material elements of the school, in the choices of books utilized in the curriculum, and most especially in the relationships that will flourish within our community.
THE FOUR HOUSES OF MAGNOLIA SCHOOL
House of Light
Light is the means by which we see and come to understand the world around us. A Magnolia education will give each girl insight into what it means to be human, made in the image and likeness of a loving God. This unique education will allow girls to see things in a new light and go into the world ready to share this insight with others. Light is a source of warmth, growth, and visibility. Without light, it would be impossible to continue on our way as pilgrims, ultimately moving towards the fullness of light, insight, and understanding that awaits each of us in eternal life.
House of Heron
The Great Blue Heron, both majestic and graceful, is a symbol of gratitude and auspicious favor, with references reaching far back into the literature and poetry of the ancients. Herons are closely associated with water, which is a fitting connection with Houston as a coastal city full of bayous. They have excellent night vision; even in the darkest of times, they are resilient and able to not only survive, but to thrive. Herons are often seen standing quite still, patiently observing and analyzing their surroundings. Their attentiveness to the natural world and ability to remain stalwart and calm are admirable qualities of this lovely creature.
House of Thyme
The purple flower held securely in the mouth of the heron is a thyme flower. Thyme is a hardy plant, yet it lends a particular softness to a garden. It is fragrant, and its scent along with its purple blooms make it attractive to butterflies and bees. The leaves of the thyme plant have been used over the centuries for culinary, medicinal, and decorative purposes. Thyme is a symbol of courage, as its name is derived from the Greek word “thymus,” of the same meaning. In the face of difficult conditions, it can persist in courageously growing and blossoming.
House of Vine
The vine seen on the Coat of Arms is a Mexican Flame Vine. Monarch butterflies are particularly attracted to the vibrant orange blossoms of this plant. Vines are a symbol of friendship and connection. In the Gospel of John, Christ refers to Himself as “the true vine.” Vines allow plants to grow into spaces they would otherwise be unable to access. They are a unifying, creative force that has immense potential to envelop the world around them and transform it into something beautiful. The Mexican Flame Vine can be easily propagated from cuttings; this is symbolic of how Magnolia students will be able to take what they have received from their education and share it with others.