Via et veritas et vita
Via et veritas et vita (Classical Latin: [ˈwɪ.a ɛt ˈweːrɪtaːs ɛt ˈwiːta], Ecclesiastical Latin: [ˈvi.a et ˈveritas et ˈvita]) is a Latin phrase meaning "the way and the truth and the life". The words are taken from Vulgate version of John 14:6, and were spoken by Jesus Christ in reference to himself.
"5 Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’"(New Revised Standard Version)
This concept is foundational to Christian theology and the primary mechanism by which the metaphysics of Christianity establish a separation between theological principles of the earlier Judaism and other Abrahamic religions, in addition to Pauline directives not to practice the mitzvot and an establishment of Jesus Christ as divine.
It only appears in John 14:6, likely the latest of the gospels, and consistent with the debates about the divinity of the Christian messiah and the split that was occurring in the earliest churches between orthodoxy and Arianism.
It asserts that the Christian religion is the only path or method by which one receives forgiveness of sins, consistent with the Christian belief in original sin, and therefore eternal life of the soul following the death of the corporal body. The more liberal interpretations see this verse as an exultation and not a mandatory commandment, believing that any human being will receive eternal reward provided they live an ethical life and treat others according to the principles of the golden rule. Some interpretations call for a personal development and growth toward Christ, meaning, toward greater unity and communion with other human beings, while the more orthodox denominations interpret the verse more faithfully to the text as a mandatory commandment that all who wish to be saved must believe in Jesus Christ and his divine nature, or face eternal damnation.
Usage as a motto
- Arad, the capital of Arad County, Romania.
- The variation Veritas, Via, Vitae, appears on the seal of the Province of Negros Oriental, the Philippines.
- University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland founded 1451
- Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois, United States, founded 1846
- Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, Anglican theological college, Permanent Private Hall of University of Oxford, founded 1877
- Kings University College at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada, founded 1878
- Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, founded 1900
- Japan Women's University in Tokyo, Japan, founded 1901
- Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Philippines, founded 1901
- Providence University College and Theological Seminary in Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada founded 1925
- Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary in Madurai, India, founded 1969
- Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts, founded 1927
- Our Lady of Mercy High School in Brighton, Monroe County, New York, founded 1928
- Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara, California, founded 1959
- St. Thomas High School in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada, founded 1960
- St. Francis Xavier College in Beaconsfield, Berwick, Officer, Victoria, Australia, founded 1978
- St. Philip's Christian College in Waratah, New South Wales, Australia, founded 1982
- John Paul College in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia, founded 1983
- Boston Trinity Academy in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, founded 2002
- Christ the King College in Newport, Isle of Wight, England, founded 2008
- St John Fisher Catholic College in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire
It is also the motto of some Canossian schools:
- Sacred Heart Canossian College in Hong Kong
- Sacred Heart Canossian College of Commerce in Hong Kong
- Sacred Heart Canossian Kindergarten in Hong Kong
- Sacred Heart Canossian School in Hong Kong
- Sacred Heart Canossian School Private Section in Hong Kong
- Saint Anthony's Canossian Secondary School in Bedok, Singapore
- Saint Anthony's Canossian Primary School in Bedok, Singapore
- Canossa Convent Primary School in Singapore, Singapore
- Sacred Heart Canossian Convent in Malacca, Malaysia
This is also inscribed above the entrance to the Saint Stephen Basilica in Budapest, Hungary.
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