Saturday, December 20, 2008

From Rome: Latin lives...




3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't John Paul II's name spelt incorrectly if it's supposed to be in Latin?
Shouldn't it be "Johannes Paulus II", not "Johanne Paolo II" ?
The rest of the inscription looks like Latin, but I think the name is definitly inscribed wrong.
Which would actually be comical. LOL !!!

W. Schrift said...

Anonymous: "Johanne Paulo II Summo Pontifice" here is in the ablative case, which signifies that Saint Thérèse is being declared to be a doctor by him (called the "ablative of personal agent"). Latin has a case system which may obviate the need for certain prepositions, especially in terse inscriptions. The form "Johannes Paulus II" is in the nominative case, which would be appropriate if JPII were the subject of the grammatical action.

This is how the inscription reads:

By John Paul II
Supreme Pontiff
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Was declared a Doctor of the Church
19 October, [in the year] 1997.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information!