Thursday, September 18, 2008

Learned from the Latin/English Missal

In my 1962 Missal the Nicene Creed mentions the Holy Spirit, "qui locutús est per Prophétas." On the English side: "who has spoken through the Prophets".

Did you notice the Latin word for speaking? Locutus!

I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service us.

That's why Picard took that dorky name when the Borg assimilated him. Because they made him their spokesman! I'd always sort of wondered. It made me grin uncontrollably the first few times I was at a TLM and we hit that part. :)

Then yesterday I was looking at the propers for the Commemoration of the Imprinting of the Holy Stigmata on the Body of St. Francis. (Who knew there was such a day? In the old calendar, anyway.) The collect is beautiful, and the epistle reading from Galatians includes this: "From henceforth let no man be troublesome to me; for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body." In Latin that line runs, "De cétero nemo mihi moléstus sit: ego enim stigmáta Dómini Jesu in córpore meo porto."

So the Latin for "marks" is "stigmata"! Maybe everyone knows that already, but I never did.


JimAroo said...

This is a good example of the difficulties of translation. Yes "stigmata" means marks in English but not just any marks. There are several synonyms in Latin for other kinds of marks (vestigium, signum, nota). Stigmata however means:
"mark hot tattooed on runaway slaves/criminals; reproduction of Christ's wounds;"

How perfect a word is that...

"Who,though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross."
Philippians 2: 6-8

Rachel Gray said...

Wow, I never knew that, and it really adds depth to the meaning!