Deus Vult – Meaning, Origin and Usage

There are a lot of idioms and terms out there to choose from. Some may be easier to understand that others, but there are some that are also very unique. Deus Vult  is one such phrase that is hard to forget, and also hard to use correctly.

Circa 2016 social media memes reprised the Latin phrase “Deus Vult”, which was a battle cry first used by the Crusaders in the 10th Century.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

“God wills it” or the “cry of the Crusaders” is the distinction carried by the phrase “Deus Vult”. Roughly translated, “Deus” is Latin for “God”, and “Vult” means “Willing” in the third person.

Medieval Europeans would cry “Deus Vult” in a crowd chant to embolden the Roman Catholic Crusaders during their battles for the Holy Land (Jerusalem).

The chant was also used as a “charge” command by the military factions that comprised the Crusaders.

The social media reprisal of the chant was led by masses of American “White Nationalists” leading up to the 2016 US Presidential race, which saw Donald Trump elected; becoming the most controversial candidate in the country’s history.

American Conservatives believed they were on a similar crusade to retake the country they felt had been taken from them after an African-American president (Barack Obama) was elected to consecutive 4-year terms as the US President (2008-2016).

The chant has since been discontinued in mainstream usage due to its use in mainstream racist rhetoric.

Example Usage

“To many people are fanatics, and they love to say Deus Vult.”

“Whatever is meant to be is according to Deus Vult.”

“The righteous take the meaning of Deus Vult to a whole new level.”

“It is not in our hands to make choices of life and death, Deus Vult is the only way.”

“So many bad things are happening being Deus Vult.”

“Depending on Deus Vult, things will either work our or they wont .”,

Origin

The Crusades were military battles between European Christians and religious groups such as the Moors that took place between 1095 and 1291 in the Middle East. The chant was used in Medieval Europe by large masses of followers to motivate the Crusader army. The First Crusade (1095) was the first known event that the chant was used in advance of, and it was used all the way until the Crusaders were ultimately defeated in 1291 in Jerusalem.

The symbolic usage of the “Deus Vult” can be found on flags depicting a red iron cross on a black or white background. The group using the flag in modern society are the aforementioned racist “White Nationalists” under the name “Deus Vult Knights Templar.” This group associates the Crusaders’ battles in the Middle East with America’s military actions in the same region. The term is- essentially- now used as a way to oppose Muslim cultures and fuel further hatred to Americans that persecute Muslims in modern rhetoric.

Phrases Similar to Deus Vult

  • “Deus Celeritas” (God Speed – Latin)
  • “Ave Maria” (Hail Mary – Latin)

Phrases opposite to Deus Vult

  • “Neco” (Kill – Latin)
  • “Deus Adiuva Nos” (God Help Us – Latin)

What is The Correct Saying?
• “Deus Vult!”

Ways People May Incorrectly Say Deus Vult

The proper Latin pronunciation may be difficult for speakers of certain languages and dialects. One may improperly pronounce the chant “Deus VOLT” which is not extreme but does convert the Latin word for willingness to an English measure for electric current. Latin words are often mispronounced.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Deus Vult

  • I am really looking forward to graduation and landing a good job. However, it is all deus vault if it will happen.
  • Who knows what the future holds, be it good or be it bad, it’s all deus vault!

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