Some of my readers may be familiar with The Desiderata, found in Old St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore in 1693. It’s a beautiful document; I have framed and read periodically. It’s very uplifting, and I’m going to reprint in its entirety, because you too, may find it uplifting during these times of crisis.


“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender be on good terms with all persons’”


“Speak your truth, quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story”


“Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself”


“Enjoy your achievements, as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time”


“Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.  But not let this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and every where life is full of heroism”


“Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth”


“Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imagining. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.”


“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should”


“Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”


“Be Cheerful”


“Strive to be happy”








The Freedom Lady






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0 Responses to The Desiderata – Found In Old St. Paul’s Church, Baltimore 1693 (Issue 191)

  1. Joe says:

    Thank you, Anne, for posting the Desiderata. I haven’t read it in many years, and for me, there have been many turbulent times since I last read it. It is so wonderful to read it again. Thank you!

  2. Hi Joe
    Thank you for reading myarticles and taking the time to comment.

    I think words are power and those are powerful words to up-lift ones spirit, so glad you enjoyed.

    Anne Cleveland

    Chief Editor

  3. For three months I said the Desiderata prayer found in Old Saint Pauls Church, Baltimore, MD. It was a great help in getting me through a difficult time. There are two parts to it. The second part hung side by side with the first part, both were framed. I never again saw the second part. The second part along with the first part were both located in the office of the Postmaster in the Philadelphia, Post Office.

  4. Hi John,
    yes you are correct, there are two parts to the Desiderata. i have both framed to-gether, in a beautiful gold matted frame, my son gave to me as a gift several years ago.

    Anne Cleveland
    Chief Editor

  5. Abby says:

    Hi all,
    I too love the Desiderata. It has brought me much peace throughout my life. It is a wonderful Poem. They truly are words to live by, and I cherish them 🙂
    However, I wanted to point out a common misconception. The Desiderata was NOT found in St. Pauls church, in 1692, in fact, in 1692 the church had not even been built!
    (there is a funny story behind how the myth got started.)

    But the point is, that credit for the poem should go to its true author, which is Max Ehrmann. He wrote the Poem in 1927. It’s even copyrighted!
    If you google it you can find interesting history about it. There are even books for sale that contain the poem, and more of Max Ehrmann’s work.


    I found the Desiderata reprinted in the October 2009 issue of the Masonic Messenger titled HOW A MASON SHOULD BE AND ACT with the following credit, “While not in any way connected with Freemasonry at its time of being carved in stone, the editor thinks it appropriate to us.” Being a life long Episcopalian and my Mother being an Anglican, I have read the Desiderata several times but I could not remember the name. I stumbled upon your site after googling Old St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore. Now having read this blog, I will google Max Ehrmann.

  7. i have that same poam … its looks real and the paper is like very old….im jus wonder . how can u tell if its copie. or fake… my isnt there is no way … feedback please…thank u kim

  8. I first came across the Desiderata the writing that was found in a church in Baltimore when I was serving in the Army many years ago. Whenever the going got tough I would take it out of my field jacket and read it. It always got me out of the slumps each time I read it.
    One day we were on a twenty mile hike and it began to rain, it was raining so hard that my field jacket got soaken wet. It ruined the words that were written, I couldn’t read the words any more. I wished I had committed the words to memory. If anyone has a copy could you please send it to me. My email address is
    Thank you

  9. I’m so glad I found this blog, “The Desederata Found in St. Paul’s Church Baltimore, Maryland 1693. I am now 82 years old. Happy to belong to the octogenarian club. Anyone who would like to share stories sond them to The Desiderta. Subject, it dosen’t matter, why at our age there are many and varied. I would like to know if Old St. Paul’s Chuch can still be visited today, and if the old desiderata is still there.

  10. Clark Byron says:

    I, too, love this piece and it has been a guiding force in my life since I first heard it on the radio as a teenager in 1971. True, it was found in Old St. Paul’s Church 1692 in Baltimore, but that is actually the full name of the church. The document was actually written by an American writer Max Ehermann in 1927. Some time around the year 1959, Reverend Frederick Kates, rector of Saint Paul’s Church in Baltimore, Maryland, included Desiderata in a compilation of devotional materials for his congregation. The compilation included the church’s foundation date: “Old St. Paul’s Church, Baltimore A.D. 1692.” The date of the text’s authorship is widely mistaken as 1692, the year of the church’s foundation. When Adlai Stevenson died in 1965, a guest in his home found the Desiderata near his bedside and discovered that Stevenson had planned to use it in his Christmas cards. Subsequently, the poem became widely known as having been found at St. Paul’s Church of Baltimore – but confusing the date of the church’s foundation as the date of the text’s authorship. While the document dates back only to the third decade of the 20th century, its wisdom is both priceless and timeless. For me, it is a scripture all its own, and its wisdom tried and tested and found to be true. Its principles have an obvious foundation in the beatitudinal teachings of Christ and for me, is therefore a poetic commentary on how to apply certain essential principles to my own life to the end that I might live in peace with myself and others.

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