The Motto


The Basilian motto is derived from Psalm 119 (originally Psalm 118). In the late nineteenth century, Charles Vincent, a Basilian priest who was one of the founders of what would later become St. Michael’s College, brought the Latin motto to the Congregation of St. Basil.

 

Bonitatem et disciplinam et scientiam doce me.

The English translation is: Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge.

66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I believe your commandments. (King James Version)

Background

The significance of each of the elements of the motto are:

Teach me

  • Refers first to the Basilian Fathers, asking to learn goodness, discipline and knowledge, then being able to share, teach and role model for others

Goodness

  • Goodness must be first, everything flows from this
  • The meaning is simply being good people
  • Without this idea and without it being first, discipline and knowledge are potentially dangerous

Discipline

  • Not just external but internal self-control
  • Also the discipleship of Christ

Knowledge

  • Learning about anything in God’s creation, not restricted to sacred learning
  • Learning for the purpose of goodness