Monday, 26 January 2015

God, Honour, Fatherland

(Originally posted on Wednesday, 3 May 2017)

In Poland the 3rd May is a national and public holiday that celebrates the Constitution of the 3rd May 1791 – the first constitution in Europe and the second one in the world (the US Constitution was first – in 1787).

Interestingly on the same day there is also a religious celebration called “Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland”. I wrote why Saint Mary is called the Queen of Poland here (in point 4):

The independence of Poland seems to have been always connected with religion and one of the most common unofficial mottoes of Poland reflects that perfectly: God, Honour, Fatherland. The Roman/Latin Catholic Church has always been very important to the Polish nation and vice versa. Even priests raise that motto during sermons. This was the case today and it inspired me to think and write about it.

I came to realise that this motto has a curious order of words. The word Fatherland (homeland/motherland) comes at the end and it is preceded by the words God and Honour. Obviously we can't place the word God in any other place than first, but the word Honour comes BEFORE Fatherland. Cool, considering especially that this motto is strongly connected with the Armed Forces of Poland.

All these words are inseparably connected with each other as far as Poland is concerned and it is something that Poles can be (and are) proud of. Well, maybe not all of them – some people don't like the motto because it refers to God. Personally I love it – the reference to God discards any notion of human superiority and makes every person and every nation humble by definition.

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