Latin Sayings

  1. Abusus non tollit usum. Misuse does not abolish use.  (Misuse of something is no argument against its proper use.)
  2. Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini, qui fecit caelum et terram. (Psalm 124:8)  Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
  3. Ad maiorem Dei gloriam. (St. Ignatius of Loyola)  For the greater glory of God.
  4. Agere sequitur esse. (Philosophical maxim)  Activity follows being.
  5. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: miserere nobis.  Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: dona nobis pacem.  (The Mass, cf. John 1:29)  Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.  Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.  Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world: grant us peace.
  6. Amor meus pondus meum. (St. Augustine)  My love is my weight.  (What St. Augustine is saying is something like this:  As an object’s weight determines its place in the material universe—heavy things below and light things above—so the quality of my love will determine my place in eternity.)
  7. Amor viam facit. (The ancient Romans)  Love finds a way.
  8. Aspira ad astra. Reach for the stars.
  9. Audentes Fortuna iuvat. (Virgil, Aeneid)  Fortune favors the bold.
  10. Ave atque vale. Hail and farewell.
  11. Ave, O Crux, spes unica! Hail, Oh Cross, our only hope!
  12. Beatus vir qui timet Dominum. (Cf. Psalm 112:1)  Happy the man who fears the Lord.
  13. Bene remiga et vives. Row well and live.
  14. Bene scripsisti de Me, Thoma. (Our Lord’s words to St. Thomas Aquinas after the latter had written a treatise on the Eucharist)  Thou hast written well concerning Me, Thomas.
  15. Caro cardo salutis. (Tertullian) The flesh (of Christ) is the hinge of salvation.
  16. Carpe diem. Seize the day.
  17. Carthago autem delenda est! (Cato the Elder)  Moreover, Carthage must be destroyed!
  18. Causa causae causa causati. (Philosophical maxim)  The cause of the cause is the cause of the effect.
  19. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.
  20. Christus vincit. Christus regnat.  Christus imperat.  (Theme song of Vatican Radio)  Christ has conquered.  Christ reigns.  Christ rules.
  21. Comedamus et bibamus, cras enim moriemur. (Cf. Isaiah 22:13)  Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die.
  22. Contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere. (St. Thomas Aquinas, motto of the Dominican Order)  To contemplate and to give to others what has been contemplated.
  23. Cor ad cor loquitur. Heart speaks to heart.
  24. Corruptio optimi pessimum. The corruption of the best is the worst.
  25. Cui bono? (Roman consul and censor Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla)  To whose benefit?
  26. Cupio dissolvi et esse cum Christo. (Philippians 1:23)  I wish to be dissolved and to be with Christ.
  27. De cetero, fratres, quaecumque sunt vera, quaecumque pudica, quaecumque iusta, quaecumque sancta, quaecumque amabilia, quaecumque bonae famae, si qua virtus, si qua laus, haec cogitate. Quae et didicistis et accepistis et audistis et vidistis in me, haec agite.  Et Deus pacis erit vobiscum.  (Philippians 4:8-9)  For the rest, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovable, whatever of good repute, if there be any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think upon these things.  And what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, these things practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.
  28. De gustibus non disputandum est. (St. Thomas Aquinas)  When it comes to taste, there is no argument.
  29. De Maria numquam satis. (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)  When it comes to Mary, one can never say enough.
  30. De minimis non curat lex. (Legal maxim)  Law does not deal in trivialities.
  31. Deo gratias. Thanks be to God.
  32. Deus, in adiutorium meum intende; Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina. (Psalm 70:2)  O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me.    
  33. Deus providebit. God will provide.
  34. Deus, qui beatam Joánnam Vírginem ad fidem ac pátriam tuéndam mirabíliter suscitásti: da, quaésumus, ejus intercessióne; ut Ecclésia tua, hóstium superátis insídiis, perpétua pace fruátur. Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum.  Amen.  (Collect for the Feast of St. Joan of Arc – 30 May)  O God, who didst wonderfully raise up the virgin Blessed Joan to the defense of the Faith and of her country, grant, we beseech Thee, that, by her intercession, Thy Church, having overcome the plots of enemies, may enjoy perpetual peace.  Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
  35. Dixit Dominus Domino meo: “Sede a dextris meis donec ponam inimicos tuos scabellum pedum tuorum.” (Psalm 110:1)  The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.”
  36. Docebo iniquos vias tuas et impii ad te convertentur. (Psalm 51:15)  I will teach the unjust thy ways, and the wicked shall be converted to thee.
  37. Domine, exaudi orationem meam, et clamor meus ad te veniat. (Psalm 102:2)  O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
  38. Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo et sanabitur anima mea. (The Mass, cf. Matthew 8:8)  Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
  39. Duas tantum res anxius optat, panem et circenses. (Juvenal)  Two things only do the people earnestly desire, bread and circus games.
  40. Dubito ergo cogito ergo sum. (Rene Descartes)  I doubt therefore I think therefore I am.
  41. Duc in altum. (Cf. Luke 5:4)  Put out into the deep.
  42. Dum spiro spero. (Generally attributed to Cicero)  While I breathe, I hope.
  43. Ecce advénit Dominátor Dóminus: et regnum in manu ejus et potéstas et impérium (Entrance antiphon for the Mass of Epiphany- Cf. Mal. 3:1; 1 Chr. 29:12.)  Behold, the Lord, the Mighty One, has come; and kingship is in his grasp, and power and dominion.
  44. Ecce crucem Domini; fugite, partes adversae! Vicit Leo de Tribu Judae, Radix David!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  (St. Anthony’s Brief)  Behold the cross of the Lord; fly, hostile powers!  The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Root of David, has conquered!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
  45. Ecce homo! (Cf. John 19:5)  Behold, the man!
  46. Esto vir. (Josemaria Escriva’s advice to himself, cf. 1 Kings 2:2)  Be a man.
  47. Etiam capillus unus habet umbram suam. (Publilius Syrus reminding us that we must give due attention to everyone and everything in our lives, no matter how apparently insignificant)  Even a single hair has its shadow.
  48. Et Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis. (Cf. John 1:14)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
  49. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius. (Legal maxim)  The expression of one thing is the exclusion of another.
  50. Facilis descensus Averno. Noctes atque dies patit atri janua Ditis.  (Virgil, Aeneid, Book VI)  Easy is the descent to the underworld.  Night and day dark Pluto’s door stands open.
  51. Facta, non verba! Deeds, not words!
  52. Festina lente. (Emperor Augustus)  Make haste slowly.
  53. Fiat lux. (Cf. Genesis 1:3)  Let there be light.
  54. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. (Cf. Luke 1:38)  Let it be done to me according to thy word.
  55. Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. (Virgil, Aeneid, 1.203)  Perhaps someday it will be useful to remember these things.
  56. Gloria Dei homo vivens. (St. Irenaeus)  The glory of God is a human being fully alive.
  57. Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. (The Mass, Luke 2:14)  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.
  58. Gratia nihil aliud est quam quaedam inchoatio gloriae in nobis. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-IIae, Q. xxiv, art. 3)  Grace is nothing else but a certain beginning of glory within us.
  59. Hoc signo vinces. (Vision of Emperor Constantine)  By this sign you will conquer.
  60. Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto. (Terence in his play Heauton Timorumenos)  I am human, and I think that nothing of that which is human is alien to me.
  61. Iacta alea est. (Julius Caesar as he led his army across the Rubicon)  The die has been cast.
  62. Ignem veni mittere in terram. (Cf. Luke 12:49)  I have come to cast fire upon the earth.
  63. Ignoratio Scripturarum ignoratio Christi est. (St. Jerome)  Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.
  64. In libris libertas. In books (there is) freedom.
  65. In medio virtus stat. (Aristotle)  Virtue stands in the middle.
  66. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritui Sancto. (Sign of the Cross, cf. Matthew 28:19)  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
  67. In principio erat Verbum. (Cf. John 1:1)  In the beginning was the Word.
  68. Inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te. (St. Augustine, Confessions, Book I, Chapter 1)  Our heart is restless, until it rest in Thee.
  69. Inter caecos regnat strabo. (Erasmus, Adagia)  Among the blind, the squint-eyed man rules.
  70. Inter pontem et fontem misericordia Dei. Between the bridge and the water is the mercy of God.
  71. Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam. (Cf. Psalm 43:4)  I will go in to the altar of God, to God, who gladdens my youth.
  72. In Vetero latet; in Novo patet. (St. Augustine)  In the Old (Testament), He (i.e. Christ) lies hidden; in the New (Testament), He is revealed.
  73. In vino veritas. In wine, there is truth.
  74. Jugum meum suave est et onus meum leve. (Cf. Matthew 11:30)  My yoke is easy, and my burden light.
  75. Labor est etiam ipsa voluptas. (Marcus Manilius)  Even pleasure itself is a toil.
  76. Labor omnia vicit improbus. (Virgil’s Georgics, Book I, lines 145-6)  Steady work overcame all things.
  77. Labra lege. Read my lips.
  78. Laudetur Jesus Christus! Praised be Jesus Christ!
  79. Lex orandi, lex credendi. The law of prayer is the law of belief.
  80. Memento mori. (Horace)  Be mindful you must die.
  81. Mens sana in corpore sano. (Derived from Juvenal, Satire X)  A healthy mind in a healthy body.
  82. Mihi vivere Christus est. (Cf. Philippians 1:21)  To me to live is Christ.
  83. Minor majori cedat. (Maxim)  Let the lesser give way to the greater.
  84. Morituri sumus te salutamus. (The ancient Roman gladiators)  We who are about to die salute you.
  85. Nemo dat quod non habet. (Philosophical maxim)  Nobody gives what he does not have.
  86. Nihil sub sole novum est. (Cf. Ecclesiastes 1:9)  Nothing is new under the sun.
  87. Nil boni hodie. Diam perdidi.  (Sundial motto)  I did nothing good today.  I have lost a day.
  88. Nole me tangere. (Cf. John 20:17)  Do not touch me.  (Literally:  “Wish not to touch me.”)
  89. Nolite confidere in principibus, in filiis hominum, in quibus non est salus. (Psalm 146:3)  Put not your trust in princes, in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation.
  90. Non nobis, Domine, non nobis sed nomini tuo da gloriam. (Cf. Psalm 115:1)  Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name give glory.
  91. Obmutesce, pater mendacii. (Rite of Exorcism)  Be silent, father of lies.
  92. O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est! O felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem!  (The Exsultet)  O truly necessary sin of Adam, which has been blotted out by the death of Christ!  O happy fault, that merited such and so great a Redeemer!
  93. Omnia instaurare in Christo. (Motto of Pope St. Pius X)  To renew all things in Christ.
  94. Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat. (Philippians 4:13)  I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
  95. Ora et labora. (St. Benedict)  Pray and work.
  96. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix, ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi. Pray for us, holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
  97. Oremus pro invicem. Let us pray for each other.
  98. O tempora! O mores!  (Cicero, First Catilinarian Oration)  Oh the times!  Oh the customs!
  99. Pacem relinquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis. (Cf. John 14:27)  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.
  100. Pie Pellicane, Jesu Domine, me immundum munda tuo sanguine, cujus una stilla salvum facere totum mundum quit ab omni scelere. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Adoro te devote, sixth stanza)  Good Pelican, Lord Jesus, cleanse filthy me by your Blood, of which one drop is enough to save the whole world from every sin.
  101. Poenae sunt pennae. (The ancient Romans)  Pains are wings.
  102. Post tenebras, spero lucem. (Tomb inscription in the Church of Santa Maria del Populo, Rome)  After the darkness, I hope for light.  
  103. Quaerite autem primum regnum Dei et iustitia eius. (Cf. Matthew 6:33)  But seek first the kingdom of God and His justice.
  104. Quem deus vult perdere, prius dementat. (Euripides, unknown fragment) Whom the god would destroy, he first makes mad.
  105. Quia amasti me, Domine, fecisti me amabilem. (St. Augustine) Because you have loved me, O Lord, you have made me lovable.
  106. Quidquid praeditio haec? What’s up?
  107. Quidquid recipitur secundum modum recipientis recipitur. (Philosophical maxim) Whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver.
  108. Quid tibi videtur? How do you see it? (Literally:  “What does it seem to you?”)
  109. Qui tacet consentire videtur. (Legal maxim) He who is silent seems to give consent.
  110. Quod scripsi, scripsi. (Cf. John 19:22) What I have written, I have written.
  111. Repetitio est mater studiorum. (Maxim of the medieval schools) Repetition is the mother of learning.
  112. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. (Mass for the Dead) Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
  113. Res ipsa loquitur. (Legal maxim) The thing speaks for itself.
  114. Roma locuta est. Causa finita. (St. Augustine)  Rome has spoken.  Case closed.
  115. Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua. Hosanna in excelsis.  Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.  Hosanna in excelsis.  (The Mass, cf. Isaiah 6:3 + Psalm 118:26)  Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.  Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.
  116. Senatus Populusque Romanus. (A reference to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, and mow an official emblem of the modern-day municipality of Rome) The Senate and the Roman People.
  117. Sic transit gloria mundi. Thus passes the glory of the world.
  118. Si igitur vis ad vitam ingredi, serva mandata. (Rite of Holy Baptism, 1952 Rituale Romanum, cf. Matthew 19:17) If, then, thou wishest to enter into life, keep the commandments.
  119. Sit nomen Domini benedictum, ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum. Blessed be the name of the Lord, both now and forever.
  120. Si tu vales, bene est. (Ancient Roman epistolary salutation) If you are well, it is well.
  121. Si tu vales, valeo. (Ancient Roman epistolary salutation) If you are well, I am well.
  122. Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus. (Motto of the city of Detroit)  We hope for better things; it shall arise from the ashes.”
  123. Stat crux dum volvitur orbis. (Motto of the Carthusians)  The Cross is steady while the world is turning.
  124. Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt. (Virgil, Aeneid) There are tears concerning our affairs, and mortal things touch the mind.
  125. Suprema lex salus animarum. (Canon 1752, 1983 Code of Canon Law) The highest law is the salvation of souls.
  126. Sursum corda. (The Mass) Lift up your hearts.  (Literally:  “Hearts upwards.”)
  127. Suscipe, Domine, universam meam libertatem. Accipe memoriam, intellectum atque voluntatem omnem. (St. Ignatius of Loyola)  Take, Lord, all my liberty.  Receive my memory, my understanding, and my entire will.
  128. Tanto homini nullum par elogium. (Inscription on a memorial raised in honor of Michelangelo in the Church of Santi Apostoli, Rome) No praise is sufficient for so great a man.
  129. Tenui nec dimittam. (St. Francis de Sales) I found it, and I will not let go.
  130. Tolle et lege. (St. Augustine, Confessions) Take up and read.
  131. Totus Tuus ego sum et omni mea Tua sunt. Accipio Te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor Tuum, Maria.  (St. Louis Grignion de Montfort)  I am totally Yours and all I have is Yours.  I accept You as my all.  Give me Your heart, Mary.
  132. Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram edificabo ecclesiam meam. Et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum. (Words encircling the lower rim of the cupola of Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, cf. Matthew 16:18-19)  Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.  And I shall give thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.
  133. Tu es sacerdos in aeternum, secundum ordinem Melchisedech. (Cf. Psalm 110:4) You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedec. 
  134. Tuis enim fidelibus, Domine, vita mutatur, non tollitur. (Preface, Mass for the Dead) Indeed, for your faithful, Lord, life is changed, not ended.
  135. Ultima in mortis hora // Filium pro nobis ora:  //  Bonam mortem impetra,  //  Virgo, Mater, Domina!  (Ultima, traditional Franciscan hymn)  In death’s last hour  //  Pray to your Son for us:  //  Obtain a good death,  //  Virgin, Mother, Lady!
  136. Venimus, vidimus, Deus vicit. (King Jan III of Poland after the Battle of Vienna in 1683) We came, we saw, God conquered.
  137. Verbum sapientiae satis. A word of wisdom is enough.
  138. Vicit Agnus noster. Eum sequamur. (Motto of the Moravian Church)  Our   Lamb has conquered.  Let us follow Him.