Latin Tweet from Pope Francis

Rancisrancis tweeted:

Viam amori Dei in cordibus nostris demus ut demus ex nostris cordibus aliis nosmetipsos.


(Hint… note the style!)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Francis and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. papaefidelis says:

    A beautiful chiastic arrangement, with a prominent use of anadiplosis and analepsis (epanaphora).

  2. Andrew says:

    Viam amori Dei in cordibus nostris demus ut demus ex nostris cordibus aliis nosmetipsos.

    Id est: praebenda est Divino amori ‘via’ per quam amor Dei descendere queat in cor hominis uniuscuiusque ut deinde eodem Divino amore homines seipsos tradant ceteris.

    Venit hic in mentem consilium Sancti Caroli Borromeo: “Si divini amoris agniculus aliquis in te accensus iam est, noli illum statim prodere, noli in ventum exponere; occlusum tene clibanum ne frigescat et calorem amittat; fuge, hoc es, quantum potes, distractiones; remane cum Deo collectus, vana colloquia devita.” (Lit. Hor. die 4 Nov)

    Optimum consilium, me quidem iudice, ne mihi dicatur aliquando: circuibas terram ut alii converterentur sed uno facto proselyto fecisti illum filium gehennae duplo quam te.

  3. benedetta says:

    I think I have grasped a nice unified whole for this but am too bashful to volunteer my rendering here. A year of secular college classics department Latin tends to be enough knowledge to make one feel an eternal dilettante in attempting these.

  4. WmHesch says:

    Nice collect-style chiasmus!

  5. jherforth says:

    I preordered Ossa Latinitatis Sola! I’m only understanding fragments at the moment but hope to partake more fully soon enough!

  6. The Masked Chicken says:

    Google translate:

    Out of the way of the love of God in our hearts, that we should give our hearts, let us give ourselves to others.


    The Chicken

  7. benedetta says:

    Huh, interesting, thanks for posting that Chicken — I think I did better than google translate at least, phew.

  8. The Masked Chicken says:

    Everyone interested in Latin should bookmark the online Lewis and Short dictionary:

    The Chicken

  9. JJZ says:

    The “viam … demus” wording has a Franciscan resonance: Brother Elias of Cortona said “viam demus lacrimis” (let us give way to tears) in his letter on the death of St. Francis. (See no. 26 below.)

  10. Better yet… people should BUY a Lewis and Short!

  11. oldconvert says:

    Thanks to the decline of classics teaching in state schools, many Lewis & Shorts ended up in the second-hand book world, so check out eBay, amazon and abebooks, to name but three, where copies in reasonable condition may be had surprisingly cheaply. (Same goes for Liddell & Scott’s dictionaries for the graecists.)

  12. Gerard Plourde says:

    Once again we have an example of how translation invariably sacrifices nuance. The official translation reads –

    “Let us allow the love of God to take deep root within us. In so doing, we will be able to give ourselves to others.”

    Google Translate gave me this –

    “Let us make the way of the love of God in our hearts, that we we should give ourselves to others from our hearts.”

    My guess (based on one year of Latin almost a half-century ago) is that the Google translation emphasizes one aspect of what Pope Francis intends while the official translation emphasizes another. The image of the love of God making its way in our hearts gives a sense of pilgrimage which requires effort on our part. The image of allowing God’s love to take root calls us to have our egos stand aside, to be passive, so that we can be instruments of the Lord. The tension between these images accurately portrays the struggle that pervades life in Christ. Conversion of our hearts takes effort but once we have embarked on our journey we are called to allow our individuality to recede. As the prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola states it – “Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.”

  13. Dennis Martin says:

    I have never been a fan of Google Translate and the version Masked Chicken says came from GT is gibberish. But what Gerard Plourde offers as coming from Google Translate is pretty accurate and far superior to the official translation he also quotes. “Make way for” is far more evocative (and literally and syntactically accurate–“give way to” might be a tad more exact but less idiomatic–and, as pointed out upthread, more Franciscan) than “let us allow.” Sometimes the simplest/most literal is best. The official translation is really quite awful.

  14. maryh says:

    I don’t know Latin, but based on your comments (the ones in English), here’s an attempt to keep the meaning and the form.

    May we surrender to God’s love in our heart,
    that from our heart we may surrender ourselves to others.

  15. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Dennis Martin,

    I agree completly that the official English translation from #Pontifex is seriously lacking. It resembles the awful 1970 translation of the Roman Missal. How the translator could miss the significance of emphasizing that we are to give of ourselves from the core of our beings is beyond me. If this is symptomatic of the effort put in by the rest of the Curia in other areas there’s little doubt that a housecleaning is in order.

  16. The Masked Chicken says:

    I suspect that Google Translate is a Bayesian parser, which means that it can be trained. The reason that Gerard Plourde and I got different translations is that between the time I put mine in (earlier) and his, many other people pasted the same text and offered “corrections,” which the software stored.

    The Chicken

Comments are closed.