A lot of people ask us “What does ‘Quo Vadis’ mean?” They have some recollection of a book by Henryk Sienkiewicz and a movie of same name starring Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, and Peter Ustinov as the Emperor Nero. The film was released in 1951 and the planning diary format was invented in 1952. Perhaps there is some unconscious connection – who knows?
“Quo Vadis?” derives from an early Christian legend in which the Apostle Peter, leaving Rome because of the fierce persecution of Christians, had a vision of Christ walking down the road towards him. Peter asked, “Quo vadis, Domine?” meaning, “Where are you going, Lord?” and was told, “I am going to Rome to be crucified in your place.” After that Peter retraced his steps and returned to Rome.
While visiting Rome, the author Henryk Sienkiewicz became acquainted with this legend. A painter friend of his showed him the inscription, “Quo Vadis?” chiseled on the pediment of a roadside chapel.
F. G. Beltrami, a doctor, was about 35 years old when he invented the Agenda Planning Diary using a notebook and a ruler. His invention became so popular with friends and family that he gave up his medical practice and started a company to market his invention. He named the company “Quo Vadis” – Latin for “Where are you going?” His original design – still going strong almost 60 years later – enables people to plan and see their week at a single glance.