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…
King of Sweden from 1560 up to 1568
dat cui vult -
Jehovah gives to who he wants
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
King of Sweden from 1604 up to 1611
(1599 - 1604):
solatum meum -
God is my consolation
Jehovah is my strength
As king (1604-1611):
Jehovah is my consolation
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.
Note that God’s name is written twice here in Hebrew.
For more explanation concerning this chain, click
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
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,
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
Charles X Gustav
King of Sweden from 1654 up to 1660
Jehovah sors mea, ipse faciet
In Jehovah my destiny is - he will do it
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”.
King of Sweden from 1660 up to 1697
Jehovah sors mea, ipse faciet
In Jehovah is my destiny - He will do it
ash dominus protector meus
The lord becomes my guard
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.