The griffin is a half-lion, half-eagle creature from ancient mythology. The griffin combines the strength and courage of the lion with the vision of the eagle. Early legends of the griffin date from 3,000 years before Christ.
The eagle and lion are also the symbols of the Gospels of St. John and St. Mark, respectively. As the Vianney mascot, the Griffin is a symbol of the values in these two gospels.
The griffins at the entrance to Tower Grove Park in St. Louis provided Bro. Kenneth Nesbit, S.M., Vianney's first principal, with the inspiration to select this mascot.
The combination of strength, courage, vision and gospel values make the Griffin a powerful symbol for all members of the Vianney family.
The massive Griffin statue that dominates the entrance to Vianney was created by reknown local artist Bob Cassilly, a 1968 graduate of Vianney and a member of the Vianney Hall of Fame. Mr. Cassilly died in 2011; Vianney is proud to display the Griffin as a tribute to Mr. Cassilly and as a reminder of the characteristics it embodies.