Fidei defensor

Fidei defensor

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Fidei defensor is a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 title which translates to Defender of the Faith in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and Défenseur de la Foi in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

. The phrase has been used as part of the full style
Royal and noble styles
Styles represent the fashion by which monarchs and noblemen are properly addressed. Throughout history, many different styles were used, with little standardization...

 of many monarchs since the early 16th century.

History


"Defender of the Faith" has been one of the subsidiary titles of the English and later British monarchs since it was granted on October 11, 1521, by Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

 to King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. His wife Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

 was also a Defender of the Faith in her own right. The title was conferred in recognition of Henry's book Assertio Septem Sacramentorum
Defence of the Seven Sacraments
The Defence of the Seven Sacraments is a theological treatise written by King Henry VIII of England in 1521.Henry started to write it in 1519 while he was reading Martin Luther's attack on indulgences...

(Defence of the Seven Sacraments), which defended the sacramental nature of marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 and the supremacy of the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. This was also known as the "Henrician Affirmation" and was seen as an important opposition to the early stages of the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, especially the ideas of Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

.

Following Henry's decision to break with Rome
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 in 1530 and establish himself as head of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, the title was revoked by Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

 (since Henry's act was regarded as an attack on "the Faith") and Henry was excommunicated
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

. However, in 1544 , the Parliament of England
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 conferred the title "Defender of the Faith", then mainly against Catholicism, so the inverse of the original papal grant, on King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and his successors, now the defenders of the Anglican faith, of which they (except the Catholic Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

) remain the Supreme Governors (formally above the Archbishop of Canterbury as Primate
Primate (religion)
Primate is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority or ceremonial precedence ....

).

During The Protectorate
The Protectorate
In British history, the Protectorate was the period 1653–1659 during which the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector.-Background:...

 (1653–59), the republican
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

 heads of state Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 and Richard Cromwell
Richard Cromwell
At the same time, the officers of the New Model Army became increasingly wary about the government's commitment to the military cause. The fact that Richard Cromwell lacked military credentials grated with men who had fought on the battlefields of the English Civil War to secure their nation's...

, more clearly profiled as Protestant than the Monarchy, although claiming divine sanction, did not adopt the style
Royal and noble styles
Styles represent the fashion by which monarchs and noblemen are properly addressed. Throughout history, many different styles were used, with little standardization...

 "Defender of the Faith". However, the style was reintroduced after the restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 of the monarchy and remains in use to this day.

Modern usage


In her capacity as queen of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Elizabeth II is styled
Royal and noble styles
Styles represent the fashion by which monarchs and noblemen are properly addressed. Throughout history, many different styles were used, with little standardization...

, "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, Defender of the Faith". The title "Defender of the Faith" reflects the Sovereign's position as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Supreme Governor of the Church of England
The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is not strong, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly...

, who is thus formally superior to the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

. The original Latin phrase - Fidei Defensor - is referred to on all current British coins
British coinage
The standard circulating coinage of the United Kingdom is denominated in pounds sterling , and, since the introduction of the two-pound coin in 1998, ranges in value from one penny to two pounds. Since decimalisation, on 15 February 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 pence...

 by the abbreviations, F D or FID DEF. This reference was first added to British coins in 1714, during the reign of King George I. The decision of the Royal Mint
Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the body permitted to manufacture, or mint, coins in the United Kingdom. The Mint originated over 1,100 years ago, but since 2009 it operates as Royal Mint Ltd, a company which has an exclusive contract with HM Treasury to supply all coinage for the UK...

 to omit reference to the phrase (and other parts of the monarch's style) from the pre-decimal British so called "Godless Florin" in 1849, caused such a scandal that the coin was replaced.

In most Commonwealth Realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

s the phrase does not appear in the Monarch's full style, while maintaining the initial By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

. For example, in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 Queen Elizabeth is presently styled, "...by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth"). She is only styled "Defender of the Faith" in Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Canada chose to include the phrase not because the sovereign is regarded as the protector of the state religion (Canada has none), but as a defender of faith in general. In a speech to the House of Commons
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

 in 1953
1953 in Canada
-Incumbents:*Monarch – Elizabeth II*Governor General – Vincent Massey*Prime Minister – Louis Saint Laurent*Premier of Alberta – Ernest Manning*Premier of British Columbia – W.A.C...

, Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Louis St. Laurent
Louis St. Laurent
Louis Stephen St. Laurent, PC, CC, QC , was the 12th Prime Minister of Canada from 15 November 1948, to 21 June 1957....

 stated:
At various times, some countries of the Commonwealth retained the title until they formally became republics, e.g. South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 from 29 May 1953 and Ireland. Others dropped it even sooner, e.g. in 1953, while still a dominion of the Commonwealth (till 1956), Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 dropped the title in recognition of the contradiction between its overwhelmingly Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 population and having a monarch as the defender of the Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 faith.

Charles, Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

, the present heir to the thrones of all the Commonwealth Realms, expressed a preference to change the style and the spirit should he succeed as expected. He commented in 1994, "I personally would rather see [my future role] as Defender of Faith, not the Faith".

Haiti


In 1811, when he proclaimed himself king, Henri I
Henri Christophe
Henri Christophe was a key leader in the Haitian Revolution, winning independence from France in 1804. On 17 February 1807, after the creation of a separate nation in the north, Christophe was elected President of the State of Haiti...

 of Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 awarded himself the title, "Défenseur de la Foi", and incorporated it into his long, pompous full style
Royal and noble styles
Styles represent the fashion by which monarchs and noblemen are properly addressed. Throughout history, many different styles were used, with little standardization...

, which translates from the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 original as: By the grace of God and the constitutional law of the state, King of Haiti, Sovereign of Tortuga, Gonâve
Gonâve Island
Gonâve Island is an island of Haiti located to the west-northwest of Port-au-Prince in the Gulf of Gonâve. It is the largest of the Hispaniolan satellite islands, situated off the mainland...

 and other adjacent Islands, Destroyer of Tyranny, Regenerator and Benefactor of the Haitian Nation, Creator of her Moral, Political and Martial Institutions, First Crowned Monarch of the New World, Defender of the Faith, founder of the Royal and Military Order of Saint-Henry.

Canada


Today, the French variant is used as part of the official version of the monarch's style in Canada ("...par la Grâce de Dieu, Reine du Royaume-Uni, du Canada et de ses autres Royaumes et Territoires, Chef du Commonwealth, Défenseur de la Foi" - mainly used in the francophone province of Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

).

See also

  • By the Grace of God
    By the Grace of God
    By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

  • Dieu et mon droit
    Dieu et mon droit
    Dieu et mon droit is the motto of the British Monarch in England. It appears on a scroll beneath the shield of the coat of arms of the United Kingdom...

  • Protestantism in the Church of England
  • Style of the British Sovereign
    Style of the British Sovereign
    The precise style of British Sovereigns has varied over the years. style is officially proclaimed in two languages:* in English: * in Latin: -Highness, Grace and Majesty:From about the 12th century onwards, English Sovereigns used the style "Highness"...

  • Defensor Perpétuo do Império do Brasil
  • Amir al-Mu'minin (Commander of the Faithful) in Islam