The Swedish Kings and God’s name

History teaches us that the Swedish kings were familar with God’s name and that they were proud to use it. The name was used within the royal motto, in jewels, on currencies and in many other instances.

What is a motto? A motto is a short statement of beliefs or ideals and may either be a sentence or a short phrase. It can be said that many people build their life course around their motto. This is certainly true regarding the mottos of kings. Kings committed themselves to choosing their motto and to live and rule according the message of the motto. Although mottos are written in every language, Latin is the preferred choice for many.

Here some kings of Sweden…


Eric XIV

Eric XIV
King of Sweden from 1560 up to 1568


The royal motto:

Jehovah dat cui vult -
Jehovah gives to who he wants

- Daniel 4:14



Eric was born the son of king Gustav I Wasa of Sweden and Catharina of Saxe-Lauenburg on December 13, 1533 in Stockholm. His mother died when he was two years old. His father’s subsequent wife did not have any affection for Eric and wanted her own son John to succeed to the throne. As an adult Erik was considered to be politically ambitious, intelligent and artistically gifted. By 1568 the king became seriously ill. The diagnosis of the doctors was schizophrenia.

In 1568 the king was deposed by the already mentioned John and locked up in castle Örbyhus. He died here on February 26, 1577. Research in 1958 revealed that the cause of his death was arsenic poisoning.

Marriage and family: before his marriage he already had children with Agda Persdotter. Their 4 children were Margareta Eriksdotter, Virginia Eriksdotter, Constantia Eriksdotter and Lucretia Eriksdotter. He married Karin Månsdotter on July 4, 1568. Their children were Sigrid, Gustaf, Henrik and Arnold.


Charles IX


Charles IX
King of Sweden from 1604 up to 1611


The royal motto:

As regent (1599 - 1604):

Deus solatum meum -
God is my consolation

Fortitudo mea Jehovah
Jehovah is my strength

Psalms 118:14


As king (1604-1611):

Jehovah solatium meum
Jehovah is my consolation

- Psalms 62:6



Charles IX was the son of Gustav I of Sweden and Margaret Leijonhufnud. He was the half brother of the aforementioned King Eric XIV. He was born on October 4, 1550 in Stockholm. The rebellion against his brother was mainly initiated by him. He lived afterwards on strained terms with the successor of Eric XIV, also named John. In 1595 Charles IX was appointed by the Reichstag as regent. In 1599 his cousin, the catholic Sigismund, was deposed, whereupon he became king. He was protestant.

He died on October 30, 1611.

Marriage and family: his first marriage was to Anna Maria of Palts Simmern. Their children were Margareta Elisabeth, Elisabeth Sabina, Louis, Catherine, Gustav and Maria. He married again in 1592 to Christina of Holstein-Gottorp. Their children were Christina, Gustav Adolf, Maria Elisabeth and Charles Philip. Charles IX had also a son, Carl Carlsson Gyllenhielm, with his mistress Karin Nilsdotter.

This king was definitely not unfamiliar with God’s name. In 1606 he created the Order of Jehova (in Swedish: Kungliga Jehovaorden). This order is described as an order of knighthood, preserved for the king and his children. As an external sign the king and the princes carried a splendid jewel, a chain, incorporating God’s name.


Photo Wikimedia Commons (© Robert Prummel) / GNU / FDL license


Note that God’s name is written twice here in Hebrew. For more explanation concerning this chain, click here.




Gustav II Adolf


Gustav II Adolf
King of Sweden from 1611 up to 1632


Gustav Adolf was the son of the previous king in our list, Charles IX. He was born on September 9, 1594, the son of Charles IX and Christina of Holstein-Gottorp.

This king was also known as Gustav Adolf the Great or the Lion of the North. As a king he conducted what is sometimes called expansion politics. He waged wars to acquire more territory for Sweden. Successfully he obtained Denmark, Russia and Poland. He was also one of the chief role players of the Thirty years war, the war between the Catholic German emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the protestant army of the King of Sweden. This war lasted from 1618 to 1648.

King Gustav II Adolf died in 1632 at the battle of Lützen, during a cavalry attack. The Swedish army however won this battle.

Marriage and family: Gustav Adolf married Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg in 1620. They had two children, Christina Augusta (1623-1624) and Christina (1626-1689) who became queen of Sweden after the death of her father. Gustav Adolf had a son born out of wedlock with the Dutch Magdalena (Grietje) Slots, Gustav.



For more explanation concerning the decorated collar, please click here
Photo with authorisation of Thüringer Landesmuseum Heidecksburg -


Also God’s name was used on currency and farthings…





Charles X Gustav

Karl X Gustav
King of Sweden from 1654 up to 1660


The royal motto:

In Jehovah sors mea, ipse faciet
In Jehovah my destiny is - he will do it

- Psalms 37:5



Karl Gustav was born on November 8, the son of Count Palatine John Casimir of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg and Princess Catherina of Sweden. He was a cousin of Queen Christina and when she abdicated in 1654, he succeeded her. He spent the largest part of his reign as leader of the Swedish army in Poland, Germany and Denmark.

He died on February 13, 1660 in Goteborg.

Marriage and family: Charles X had one legitimate son who succeeded him as king. This was with his wife Hedwig Eleonora van Holstein-Gottorp. The son was called Charles XI. With Brita Allerts he also had an illegitimate son: Gustav Carlson. He had also a number of other children with several different women, before his marriage.

In Malmö is a statue of this king, sitting on his horse. Also on the statue is God’s name - seen on his motto “In Jehovah sors mea, ipse faciet”.


For more explanation about the statue, please click here.



Charles XI

Karl XI
King of Sweden from 1660 up to 1697


The royal motto:

In Jehovah sors mea, ipse faciet
In Jehovah is my destiny - He will do it

- Psalms 37:5

Factus ash dominus protector meus
The lord becomes my guard

Dominus protector meus
The lord, my guard.



Charles XI was born the son of King Karl X and Hedwig Leonora of Holstein-Gottorp on November 24, 1655. His father died when he was 5 years old whereupon he ascended the throne. The country was ruled by regents until he became 17 years old and he was crowned as king.

The Italian writer Lorenzo Magalotti, who visited Stockholm in 1974, described him as “being frightened of almost everything and finding foreigners not easy to talk with”. He had also a deep religious belief: he was frequently seen on his knees, praying, and he attended all the sermons devotedly.

He died on April 5, 1697, 41 years old, of cancer.

Marriage and family: Charles XI married Ulrika Eleonora of Denmark in 1680. They had the following children: Hedwig Sophia, Charles XII of Sweden, Gustav (1683-1685), Ulrich, Fredrik, Charles Gustav and Ulrike Eleonora.



The logical conclusion is that these kings, and people living in their time, were not afraid to use God’s name. On the contrary they were proud to do so.



- top -