I think there should be an accepted (in church rituals) Latin version of the phrase "God Bless their innocent souls", or something very similar, like "God bless their souls". How would this be expressed in Latin? If there's a link to a textbook or brochure with expressions like these in Latin, that would be good too.

  • I came up with these translations: Domine Deus benedicat eōrum spiritūs or Benedice, Domine Deus, eōrum spiritūs. I am not sure whether one ought to do a prayer in the subjunctive, the former, or the imperative, the latter.You might also want to look at "Benedicat tibi Dominus" (let/may the lord bless you) from Ruth 2:4, although I don't know why the dative is used instead of the accusative.
    – Vtex
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


I could not find a "official" version of this for the Roman Catholic Church. I have, however, come up with a few possible translations.

In Latin, prayers are generally expressed with the second person singular subjunctive. This is true in Ecclesiastical Latin as well. In Ecclesiastical Latin the imperative can also be used in prayers. God is generally referred to in the vocative or nominative.

First, lets look to biblical sources for this. Ruth 2:3 has the phrase "Benedicat tibi Dominus." This same phrase is found in Numbers 6:24. The NRSV translates this quite literally as "The LORD bless you." I might translate this as something like "may the LORD bless you." This gives us the verb you most likely want to use, "benedicere" (to speak praise, glorify, bless). This also gives us the verb form you likely want: third person, singular, present, active, subjunctive.

Now for innocent. There are a few words that I have seen in the vulgate for innocent: īnsōns, innoxius, and innocēns. Innocius and innocēns seem to be used quite often with "blood" (i.e. "innocent blood"). Innoxius and innocēns seem to mean "innocent" or "harmless." Īnsōns seems to mean "innocent" and "guiltless." I will use īnsōns.

To put this together one gets: "Benedicat spiritūs eōrum īnsōntem Deus." The "eōrum" could probably be removed if necessary, and the word order can easily be changed.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    You missed "innocent." Innocens does work, but here is everywhere the NIV uses the word "innocent" to translate the Hebrew or Greek. Might be useful for cross-referencing.
    – cmw
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 3:06

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