What’s with the name “IN VIAM PACIS”?

IN VIAM PACIS is Latin for INTO THE WAY OF PEACE.  It comes from the last words of Zachariah’s Canticle in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verses 68-79.  Zachariah is the husband of Elizabeth, the natural parents of the child who would be forever known as John the Baptist.  I recommend if you are not familiar with the historical facts that you read the entire first chapter of Luke.  Here is a link to Luke 1 from the Bible Gateway website: Luke Chapter 1 RSVCE

RSVCE means the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition and is one of many English translations of the Bible.  The RSV Bible is regarded as the most literal and accurately translated English Bible from the original languages.  The RSVCE is the RSV with the complete canonical texts.

Anyway, the Canticle of Zachariah, also known as the Benedictus, is prayed all around the world every morning by priests, deacons, religious sisters and nuns, religious brothers and monks, and many lay persons.


Here is the English translation we pray in Canada and the United States:


Blessed + be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old 
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.


For the fun of it, here is the same prayer in Latin from Saint Jerome’s ‘vulgate’ translation:


68 Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel, quia visitavit, et fecit redemptionem plebis suae:

69 et erexit cornu salutis nobis in domo David pueri sui,

70 sicut locutus est per os sanctorum, qui a saeculo sunt, prophetarum ejus:

71 salutem ex inimicis nostris, et de manu omnium qui oderunt nos:

72 ad faciendam misericordiam cum patribus nostris: et memorari testamenti sui sancti:

73 jusjurandum, quod juravit ad Abraham patrem nostrum, daturum se nobis

74 ut sine timore, de manu inimicorum nostrorum liberati, serviamus illi

75 in sanctitate et justitia coram ipso, omnibus diebus nostris.

76 Et tu puer, propheta Altissimi vocaberis: praeibis enim ante faciem Domini parare vias ejus,

77 ad dandam scientiam salutis plebi ejus in remissionem peccatorum eorum

78 per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri, in quibus visitavit nos, oriens ex alto:

79 illuminare his qui in tenebris et in umbra mortis sedent: ad dirigendos pedes nostros in viam pacis.


Notice the last 3 words “in viam pacis” and notice the first word “Benedictus.”  In the Catholic Church we often name our prayers by the first word or two.  This happens with official documents such as Papal Encyclicals or Exhortations as well.

So there you have it.  There is much to reflect on these holy words but this first blog is long enough already!

At some point I will figure out how you can receive notifications as to when I make another blog post.  In the meantime, please check back here periodically for more news and information about this new retreat centre!

God bless,

Fr. Anthony. 



3 thoughts on “What’s with the name “IN VIAM PACIS”?

  1. This looks pretty good, and should attract those many who need such a place and service to see just where they are in respect of their vocation in life. I am able to present you with a copy of Desiderata, and the Serenity Prayer to hang on the wall of the centre. May the people who are Blessed to attend there, thank our GOD for this initiative. GOD Bless ! Tim

  2. Jennifer Snell says:

    Father Hannon, may God be with you as the Retreat Centre opens this fall. Thank you for opening your heart to God’s will in this endeavour. I hope your canine buddy is excited about his new home in the wilderness. I look forward to spending some time at the centre.

  3. Fr. Hezuk Shroff says:

    Dear Fr. Hannon, I am praying for the success of this much-needed Catholic retreat centre in Eastern Ontario. You have been an inspiration to your parishioners at St. Catherine of Siena Parish and I am sure that you will lead many others to a deeper relationship with God through your new retreat centre near Sharbot Lake. God bless you and all those who come to your little piece of Heaven here on earth to experience the Peace of God: In Viam Pacis!

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