Many of us remember beginning every new page of school work with the heading A.M.D.G. A good number of us also recall that the letters stood for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, (For the Greater Glory of God).
I imagine that many Catholics stopped the practice of marking every page with this prayer when they left school. I’m not sure why the practice has faded out of Catholic school. I was at a Catholic school when the encouragement to continue the practice waned. I remember one teacher commenting that if a non-catholic exam marker saw this s/he could be annoyed and mark me harder. I needed every mark I could get and so was not prepared to take the risk!
It was Ignatius of Loyola (feast day today) who coined the prayer ‘for the greater glory of God’. This became the ‘motto’ for the Religious Order he founded, the Society of Jesus.
An interesting aside, The Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton (d.1981) used to begin the cricket books he wrote with the letters AMDG. (ref wikipedia) If Catholics do not continue to use the treasures we have received, then others will take them over and turn them to secular uses. This has happened with architecture (ref yesterday’s blog), and even with A.M.D.G. A NZ google search of A.M.D.G. now brings up the Auckland Manakau Dressage Group.