Dominus mihi adjutor – its meaning

In case you are one of those wondering about the title of this blog, the following may help solve any mystery. Dominus mihi adjutor is the motto of Douai Abbey. The words are taken from verse 6 of Psalm 117 (118). The rough translation is “the Lord is my help”. The emphasis in the context of the psalm is on “the Lord” – he is our true help, as no one else can be.

As so often happens the Latin has a deeper nuance not conveyed by the English translation. Adjutor has the sense of help in the attainment of a particular end, the realisation of a goal, the fulfilment of a mission. Thus the Lord is the one who is our true and only help in fulfilling our vocation and reaching the end for which we were made, eternal life with Him. With God on our side, whom need we fear?

Dominus mihi adjutor; non timebo quid faciat mihi homo. Dominus mihi adjutor, et ego despiciam inimicos meos. – The Lord is my help; I will not fear what man might do to me. The Lord is my help, and so I shall look down on my foes.  [Psalm 117 (118), vv.6-7]