Deus Meus et Omnia

So what does: “Deus meus et omnia” mean?

A bunch of websites claim it is the motto for the Franciscan order who translate it: “My God and my all”. However Wikipedia says the Franciscan motto is “Pax et bonum”.

In Knowing God, J. I. Packer ascribes the phrase to Martin Luther and translates: “God is mine and everything is mine,” p143.

The Packer quote is awesome (very Romans 8:31-32), but is it right? Confusing.

For the Fransican option you would expect ‘meus’ to be genitive not nominative, right? (although Thomas’ “My God” in John 20:28 is ‘Deus meus’)

For the Packer/Luther way you would expect ‘meus’ to be accusative tense, right? However it seems to be nominative! Any Latin gurus out there?…

 

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2 Responses to Deus Meus et Omnia

  1. Bei-En Zou says:

    Well, that just goes to show that one should never trust Wikipedia too much. I think Pax et bonum was what Francis would greet those whom he met on the road (sort of a Latin ‘Hello!”), while Deus Meus et Omnia is the proper motto of the Franciscan order.

    I’ve got “my God and (my) all” for this. Meus is nom.masc.sg agreeing with deus, and I think omnia is neut.nom.sg. I think Packer’s translation is a bit “creative” – I mean, it gets the sense across – but not quite what the Latin literally says. Having said that, I barely passed my Latin exams and Packer blitzed through his Oxford Classics degree with alphas throughout ….

  2. Lingua Latina says:

    Hey there,

    I know this is random, and years after the post, but the Latin adjective “meus” is declined to match the noun it describes. It means “mine” regardless of the case it’s in. I think you’re confusing it with the Latin noun for “me” which is:

    ego (I)
    mei (of me)
    mihi (to/for me)
    me (me)
    me (from/by/with me)

    “Omnia” is an adverb meaning “in all ways.”

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