Con gaudentes exultemus vocali concordia
Ad beati Nicolai festiva solemnia;
Qui in cunis adhuc jacens servando jejunia
A papillis coepit summa promereri gaudia.
Adolescens amplexatur literarum studia,
Alienus et immubis ab omni lascivia.
Cujus fuit dignitatis vox de coelo nuntia!
Per quam provectus,
Praesulatûs sublimatur ad summa fastigia.
Erat in ejus animo pietas eximia,
Et oppressis impendebat multa beneficia.
Auro per eum virginum tollitur infamia,
Atque patris earundem levatur inopia.
Quidam nautae navigantes,
Et contra fluctuum saevitiam luctantes,
Navi pene dissoluta,
Jam de vita desperantes,
In tanto positi periculo, clamantes
Voces dicunt omnes una:
"O beate Nicolae,
Nos ad maris portum trahe
De mortis angustia.
Trahe nos ad portum maris,
Tu qui tot auxiliaris
Dum clamarent, nec incassum,
"Ecce!" quidam dicit, "assum
Ad vestra praesidia."
Statim aura datur grata
Et tempestas fit sedata:
Nos, qui sumus in hoc mundo,
Vitiorum in profundo
Jam passi naufragia,
Ad salus portum trahe,
Ubi pax et gloria.
Ex ipsius tumba manat
Quae infirmos omnes sanat
Per ejus suffragia.
Ipsam nobis unctionem
Impetres ad Dominum,
Quae sanavit laesionem
Hujus festum celebrantes gaudeant per saecula,
Et coronet eos Christus post vitae curricula!
Amen dicant omnia!
XXVIII. ST. NICHOLAS
Let us all exult together, as with one united voice
We upon his solemn feast-day in St. Nicholas rejoice;
Who, whilst in his cradle lying, by observing duly fast,
Heavenly joys began to merit even at his mother's breast.
In his youth he chooses letters, that his study they may be,
To all evil lust a stranger, from all sinful passions free.
This blest confessor,
Whom, as worthy of the office, 'twas a voice from heaven praised,
Amongst bishops to the very highest rank is forthwith raised.
There was too in his character benevolence exceeding,
And many a bounty he bestowed, the tale of sorrow heeding.
With gold he saved some maidens, who had else vile lives been leading,
Relieving all their father's want, when help most sorely needing.
Certain sailors once, when sailing,
And fighting 'gainst fierce waves with struggles unavailing,
Shipwrecked nigh through stress of weather;
Hope of life already failing,
Amid such dangers set, aloud their fate bewailing,
Lift their voices altogether:
"Blessed Nicholas! O steer us
From the straits of death so near us
To the haven of safe sea!
To that harbour in the distance
Draw us, who dost grant assistance
Through the grace of charity!"
"lo!" - while thus they cried, nor vainly, -
"I am here!" a voice said plainly,
"To watch o'er you and to aid!"
Instantly blow favouring breezes,
Instantly the tempest ceases,
And to rest the sea is laid.
We, now in this world abiding,
Have been wrecked, as we were riding
O'er the deep abyss of vice:
Draw us, Nicholas most glorious!
To the home of peace victorious,
To the port of Paradise!
From his tomb, to heal diseases,
Oil abundant floweth forth,
Which the sick from pain releases
Through his prayers' availing worth.
May we of the self-same ointment
Through thy pious prayer to God
Which did by the Lord's appointment
Heal the wounds of Mary's load
Let them joy throughout all ages, who observe this holy day,
And, when this life's course is ended, crowned in heaven by Christ be they!
Amen! let all creatures say!
XXIX. S. STEPHANUS
Heri mundus exultavit
Et exultans celebravit
Heri chorus angelorum
Prsecutus est coelorum
Regem cum laetitia.
Protomartyr et Levita,
Clarus fide, clarus vita,
Clarus et miraculis,
Sub hac luce triumphavit,
Et triumphans insultavit
Frement ergo tanquam ferae,
Quia victi defecere
Falsos testes statuunt,
Et linguas exacuunt
Agonista, nulli cede,
Certâ certus de mercede,
Insta falsis testibus,
Testis tuus est in coelis,
Testis verax et fidelis,
Nomen habes Coronati:
Te tormenta decet pati
Pro corona gloriae.
Pro corona non marcenti
Prefer brevis vim tormenti!
Te manet victoria.
Tibi fiet mors natalis,
Tibi poena terminalis
Dat vitae primordia.
Plenus Sancto Spiritu,
Videns Dei gloriam,
Crescit ad victoriam,
Suspirat ad praemia.
En a dextris Dei stantem,
Jesum pro te dimicantem,
Tibi coelos reserari,
Tibi Christum revelari,
Clama voce liberâ
Se commendat Salvatori,
Pro quo dulce ducit mori
Sub ipsis lapidibus.
Saulus servat omnium
Lapidans in omnibus.
Ne peccatum statuatur
His, a quibus lapidatur,
Genu ponit, et precatur,
In Christo sic obdormivit,
Qui Christo sic obedivit,
Et cum Christo semper vivit,
Quod sex suscitaverit
Mortuos in Africa,
Fama refert publica.
Hujus, Dei gratia,
Mundo datur pluvia
Solo fugat hic odore
Morbos et daemonia,
Laude dignus et honore
Martyr, cujus est jocundum
Nomen in Ecclesia,
Languescentem fove mundum
Coelesti fragantia. Amen.
XXIX. ST. STEPHEN
Yesterday the world, elated,
Joyed, and, joying, celebrated
Chris the Saviour's natal day:
Yesterday, heaven's King surrounding,
Angel-choirs, his welcome sounding,
Sang to him with joyful lay.
Protomartyr and a deacon,
Faith's clear light and life's bright beacon,
For his wonder-works well known,
Stephen on this day all-glorious
Won the victory, and, victorious,
Trod the unbelievers down.
Thus, since those 'gainst light engaging,
Conquered, fail, behold them raging
Like wild beasts in their despair:
Lying witnesses they bring,
And with bitter words they sting,
Seed of vipers that they are!
Champion! yield to non, but ever
Persevere in thine endeavour,
Stephen! sure of sure reward:
Their false witnesses withstand,
And confute all Satan's band
By thine eloquence outpoured.
In the heavens thy Witness dwelleth;
Truly, faithfully, He telleth
How thou hast no evil done:
Since "a crown" for name thou bearest,
Suffering first thou fitly sharest,
Till thy glory-crown be won.
For that crown's unfading dower
Choose to bear brief torture's power;
There awaits thee victory!
Death new birth for thee portendeth,
And its pain, which quickly endeth,
Is the dawn of life to thee.
Full of the blest Spirit's grace,
Stephen into heaven's space
Penetrates with lightened eyes;
Gazing on God's glory, he
Waxes strong for victory,
Longing for its deathless prize.
Lo! at God's own right hand standing,
Jesus, in thy cause contending,
Stephen! lift thine eyes and see!
Cry that heaven now open lieth;
And that Christ thine eye descrieth
Cry aloud in accents free!
To his Lord his soul commending,
Sweet he deems it at life's ending
'Neath these stones for him to fall.
Saul stands by and keeps the clothes
Of each stoner as he throws,
Stoning Stephen through them all.
That the Lord would not be laying
To his murderers' charge this slaying,
Stephen kneeleth down, and, praying,
Mourns their mad and reckless deed:
So asleep in Christ fell Stephen,
Who had Christ to serve so striven,
And now lives with Christ in heaven,
First-fruits of the martyrs' seed!
That in Africa from death
He six men to life revived,
Is a fact Augustine saith,
And one commonly believed.
When, by God's grace, his remains
From their grave to light were brought,
Then were given heavy rains
On the earth in time of drought.
He by perfume rare alone
Makes disease and demons flee,
And due praise and fame hath won
With a deathless memory.
Martyr! whose sweet name doth live
In the Church so pleasantly,
An enfeebled world revive
With thy heavenly fragrancy! Amen.
XXX. S. STEPHANUS
Rosa novum dans odorem,
Ab Aegypto revocatur;
Illum sequi gratulatur
Cujus erat testis.
Genus nequam et infaustum
Qui se fecit holocaustum
Et quod in Christum credit,
A quo tamen non recedit
Gaudet carne purpurata,
Flexo genu, voce grata,
Pro Judaeis orans,
Ut non illis imputetur
Quia gratis pateretur,
Constitutum in spe certa
Certiorat res aperta,
Quando Jesum vidit
Stantem Patris in virtute;
Tunc ad petram pugnans tute
Uva, data torculari,
Vult pressuras inculcari
Ne sit infecunda;
Martyr optat petra teri,
Sciens munus adaugeri
Sanguinis in unda.
Nos qui mundi per desertum
Agitamur in incertum,
Ut securi tanto duce
Trinitatis vera luce
Jugiter fruamur. Amen.
XXX. ST. STEPHEN
Lo! a rose, new odour shedding,
Bright with beauty, al exceeding,
From the halls of heaven,
Out of Egypt is invited,
And to follow Christ delighted,
After witness given.
An unhappy, evil nation
Treats its victim's self-oblation
In unworthy fashion,
And Christ's truths, for which he pleadeth;
Though therefrom he ne'er recedeth
Through his fiery passion.
In his bruised flesh he rejoices;
Bent his knee and soft his voice is,
For the Jew's race pleading,
That 'gainst them his causeless passion
Be not charged, of their transgression
Being thus unheeding.
His hope's certain expectation
Is confirmed to demonstration,
When he Christ perceiveth
In His Father's glory standing;
On the rock then, safe contending,
Awe-struck foes he driveth.
As a grape, the wine-press feeding,
Would have wine pressed thence by treading,
Lest it useless seemeth;
So the martyr stoning pleaseth,
Knowing his reward increaseth,
As his life-blood streameth.
Let us, through earth's desert driven
Here and there, to follow Stephen
In his course endeavour;
That, safe such a leader under,
We the Triune's true light yonder
May enjoy forever! Amen.
XXXI. S. JOANNES EVANGELISTA
Gratulemur ad festivum,
Jocundemur ad votivum
Sic versetur laus in ore,
Ne fraudetur cor sapore
Quo degustet gaudium.
Hic est Christi praedilectus,
Qui reclinans supra pectus
Huic in cruce commendavit
Matrem Christus; hic servavit
Virgo viri nesciam.
Intus ardens caritate,
Foris lucens honestate,
Signis et eloquio,
Ut ab aestu criminali,
Sic immunis a poenali,
Prodiit ex dolio.
Vim veneni superavit,
Morti, morbis imperavit,
Necnon et daemonibus:
Sed vir tantae potestatis,
Non minoris pietatis
Cum gemmarum partes fractas
Solidasset, has distractas
Inexhaustum fert thesaurum,
Qui de virgis fecit aurum,
Gemmas de lapidibus.
Invitatur ab amico
Convivari; Christum dico
Visum cum discipulis.
De sepulcro quo descendit,
Redivivus sic ascendit
Frui summis epulis.
Testem habes populum,
Immo, si vis, oculum,
Quod ad ejus tumulum
Manna scatet, epulum
De Christi convivio.
Aquilae fert proprium,
Cemens solis radium,
Verbum in principio.
Hujus signis est conversa
Gens gentilis, gens perversa,
Gens totius Asiae.
Hujus scriptis illustratur,
Salve, salvi vas pudoris,
Vas coelestis plenum roris,
Mundum intus, clarum foris,
Nobile per omnia.
Fac nos sequi sanctitatem;
Fac, per mentis puritatem,
In una substantia. Amen.
XXXI. ST. JOHN the EVANGELIST
On his feast with gratulation
Joy we at John's exaltation,
As we pay our public vows!
Let the mouth so sing his praises,
That the relish which it raises
The glad heart may never lose.
This is he most loved by Jesus,
Who drank draughts of wisdom precious,
As he on His breast did lean:
To whom Mary was commended
From Christ's cross; who, virgin, tended
Her who had not known a man.
Inwardly with warm love glowing,
Outwardly bright virtue showing,
Eloquence and wonders wrought;
As by lust's consuming fever.
So by tortures' heat, touched never,
From the oil-vat came he out.
Poison's strength he overpowered,
Death, disease, beneath him cowered,
And the very devils too:
But the man, such power possessing,
Could no less bring health and blessing
Unto those in want and woe.
Broken gems by him were mended,
And their value was expended
On the poor, his pious loan.
He produces boundless treasure,
Who from tree-twigs at his pleasure
Fashioned gold, and gems from stone.
By a friend to banquet bidden, -
Christ, I mean, no longer hidden,
Seen with His disciples there, -
From the grave, where he was lying,
He arose in form undying,
In the heavenly feast to share.
There are crowds to testify.
Nay, yourself may trust your eye,
How that, where he once did lie,
Flows forth manna, a supply
From the table of the Lord.
As he doth his Gospel write,
Eagle-like in upward flight,
He beholds the Light of Light,
Its primaeval source, to wit,
"In the beginning was the Word!"
A perverse and heathen nation,
All of Asia's population,
To the faith his wonders won.
Illustrated by his writing,
Unity, the Church uniting,
Firmer ground now stands upon.
Vessel, hail! that no sin staineth!
Vessel, that heaven's dew containeth!
Which within quite pure remaineth,
Bright without, all dignity!
Cause us, like thee, to be holy,
And, with spirits chastened throughly,
Let us see the Godhead fully,
In one substance Persons three. Amen.
XXXII. S. JOANNES EVANGELISTA
Verbi vere substantivi,
Caro cum sit in declivi
In aetemis verbum annis
Permanere, nos Johannis
Dum Magistri super pectus
Fontem haurit intellect^ucirc;s
Et doctrinae flumina,
Fiunt, ipso situ loci,
Verbo fides, auris voci,
Mens Deo contermina.
Unde mentis per excessus,
Carnis, sensûs super gressus
Contra veri solis lumen
Visum cordis et acumen
Figit velut aquila.
Hebet sensus exsors styli,
Stylo scribit tam subtili,
Fide tam catholica,
Ne de Verbo salutari
Posset quicquam refragari,
Verbum quod non potest dici,
Quod virtute creatrici
Cuncta fecit valde bona,
Iste dicit ab aeterni
Patris nexu non secerni,
Nisi tantum in persona.
Quem Matthaeus de intactae
Matris alit casto lacte
Cum labore et aerumna;
Quem exaltat super cruce,
Cornu bovis, penna Lucae,
Ut serpentem in columna;
Quem de mortis mausoleo
Vitae reddit Marci leo,
Scissis petris, terra mota,
Hunc de Deo deum verum
ALPHA et Ω, Patrem rerum,
Solers scribit idiota.
Cujus lumen visuale,
Vultus anceps, leves alae,
Rotae stantes in quadrigâ,
Sunt in coelo visa, prius
Quam hic esset, vel illius
Forma capax, vel auriga.
Illi scribunt Christum pati
Dolum, inde vim Pilati,
Cum coronâ spineâ:
Hic sublimis tractu pennae
Tractat Christi jus perenne
Cum ultrici frameâ.
Pennis hujus idiotae
Elevantur Regis rotae,
Et coelestes citharoedi
Se prosternunt Patris sedi
XXXII. ST. JOHN the EVANGELIST
John's theology declareth,
Though on earth all flesh appeareth
To decline in swift decay,
That the Word's word self-existent,
Through all ages still consistent,
Will remain nor pass away.
As the loved disciple sinketh
On his Master's breast, and drinketh
Wisdom's fount and learning's stream,
From a posture so endearing
Word and faith, and speech and hearing,
Mind and God, converging seem.
By the flights of thought thence taken, -
Flesh and carnal sense forsaken, -
Far o'er error's cloudy night,
Eagle-like, by observation,
The true Sun's illumination,
Keeps his keen-eyed heart in sight.
Want of style the sense confuses,
But such subtlety John uses,
And so Catholic his faith,
That all heretics, depraving
Doctrines of that Word soul-saving.
Fail to gainsay aught he saith.
Lo! that Word, beyond expression,
Who all very good did fashion
By His power of creation,
From the eternal Sire appeareth
Undivided, John declareth,
Save in Personal relation.
Whom with chaste milk Matthew feedeth,
Which from virgin breasts proceedeth,
With much toil and trouble blended;
Whom that ox-horn, Luke's pen, placeth
On the cross and high upraiseth,
As the serpent was suspended;
Whom from death's sepulchral portal
Lion Mark restores immortal.
Whilst earth quakes and rocks are riven;
Him John paints with skill unstudied,
FIRST AND LAST, God in true Godhead,
Father of all earth and heaven.
He the eyes all round these creatures,
Their swift wings, their fourfold features,
And the wheels that stand beside them,
In their might had seen in heaven,
Ere form here to them was given,
Or the charioteer to guide them.
They describe what craft Christ suffered;
Violence by Pilate offered,
With the thorn-crown, then endured:
He, borne up on soaring pinion,
Treats of Christ's supreme dominion,
And of His avenging sword.
On his wings, though uninstructed,
Rise the King's own wheels, conducted
As though on the living four;
While the heavenly harpers, kneeling
At the Father's throne, their thrilling
Alleluia's song outpour! Amen.
XXXIII. S. JOANNES EVANGELISTA
Christo laudes persolvat - hic chorus psallens - die ista,
Qua Johannes supernae - mensae fratrumque - est conviva!
Qui multis ex maximis - claruit miraculis - hac in vita;
Patrem, navim, nuptias, - seque liquit, Domini - sequens vias.
Clarior hic ceteris, - supra pectus Domini - Cubans coenat;
Huic de cruce virgini - Virgo voce Filii - est commissa.
Fervens vicit oleum, - tonsus ad ridiculum, - risit flagra.
Propter Evangelium, - subiit exilium, - ferrum, vincla.
Virus fidens sorbuit, - et extinctos eruit: - vir vita refloruit - et matrona;
Aurum hic de frondibus, - gemmas de silicibus, - fractis de fragminibus- fecit firmas.
Hunc vocans visitat Christus- et hic intrat vivus foveam: - petit aethra.
Nunc te, Christe, nostra rogant - vox et vota, ipsi socia - nos per saecla! Amen.
XXXIII. ST. JOHN the EVANGELIST
Let our choir upon this day, - as they lift their anthem, pay, - Christ due praises;
Day, when John became a guest - at high heaven's supernal feast - with his brethren;
Who for marvels by him done, - many and most great, was known, - whilst here living;
Father, vessel, marriage-bed - and himself he left, instead - Christ to follow.
More illustrious than the rest - lying upon Jesus' breast - at the supper;
From the Cross to this chaste one - was the Virgin by the Son - given over.
Boiling oil he overcame, - and, when shorn for scoff and shame, - mocked their scourgings;
For the Gospel's honour spent, - banishment he underwent, - torture, fetters.
He through faith did poison drain, - and the dead revived again, - first restoring a young man, - then a mother.
Gold from foliage fashioned he, - out of pebbles jewelry, - and their fragments perfectly - put together.
Christ visits him to call him home, - and he, alive still, entereth the tomb, - thence seeks heaven.
Now, Christ! to Thee plead voice and prayer, - bring us to be his partners there, - through the ages! Amen.
XXXIV. S. JOANNES EVANGELISTA
PRAEFATIO. Trinitatem reserat aquila, summus Evangelista!
Felix sedes gratiae,
Summum Regem gloriae
Videns mentis acie
Spiritus qui indicat
Aquae vivae salientis
Hie est potus recumbentis
Supra pectus Domini.
Hie exfulget miris signis,
Hie expugnat vires ignis
Et ferventis olei.
Quod martyr quis fiat,
Et poenas non sentiat.
O martyr! O virgo! - O custos Virginis - per quam mundo gloria,
Ex quo sunt, in quo sunt, - per quem sunt omnia, - per te det suffragia!
O dilecte prae caeteris,
Christum, a quo diligeris,
Nos ei concilia.
Tu qui rivus, duc ad fontem,
Tu qui collis, duc ad montem;
Virgo totus gratia.
FINIS. Sponso laus per saecula!
XXXIV. ST. JOHN the EVANGELIST
PREFACE. John, the eagle, first of Evangelists, the Triune God revealeth!
Blessed resting-place of grace!
Who on heaven's great King dost gaze
With the mind's eye, face to face,
For the Spirit shows God's throne
To him, deifying John,
Making him with angels one,
Now the water, life supplying,
As it springs up, drinks he, lying
On the bosom of the Lord:
Now he shines with many a wonder,
Now the force of fire keeps under,
And of hot oil round him poured.
Wondrous it seems to be,
That, 'mid torture's agony.
Martyrdom one should gain,
And yet never feel the pain.
O martyr! O virgin! - that Virgin's guardian, - who did earth's chief Glory bear!
From Whom is, in Whom is, - through Whom is everything, - may He through thee hear our prayer!
O thou, beloved above the rest!
Ask Christ, Who loved thee far the best,
To Him pressing
For His reconciling grace.
River! lead us to the fountain;
Hill! conduct us to the mountain;
Let us see the Bridegroom's face.
CONCLUSION. To the Bridegroom endless praise!
XXXV. S. THOMAS CANTUARIUS
Gaude, Sion, et laetare,
Voce, voto jocundare
Tuus Thomas trucidatur;
Pro te, Christe, immolatur,
Archipraesul et legatus,
Nullo tamen est elatus
Dispensator summi Regis,
Pro tutela sui gregis
Trusus est exilio.
Tele certans pastorali,
Ense cinctus Spiritali,
Hic pro Dei sui lege,
Et pro suo mori grege
Tunc rectore desolatam
Et pastore viduatam
Se plangebat Canthia;
Versa vice, plausu miro,
Exultavit tanto viro
Quo absente, infirmatur,
Sic nos, pater, reliquisti,
Nec a vero recessisti
Quondam coetu curiali
Primus eras et regali
Plebis aura favorali
Et, ut mos est, temporali
Consequenter es mutatus:
Novus homo reparatus
Ex adverso ascendisti,
Et te murum objecisti:
Caput tuum obtulisti,
Carnis tuae morte spreta,
Triumphalis es athleta;
Palma tibi datur laeta,
Quod testantur insueta
Per te visus caecis datur,
Claudis gressus instauratur,
Vetus hostis propulsatur
Et peccati macula.
Cleri gemma, dare Thoma,
Motus carnis nostrae doma
Ut, in Christo vera vite
Radicati, vera vitae
Capiamus gaudia. Amen.
XXXV. ST. THOMAS of CANTERBURY
Joy, O Sion! and rejoice thou;
With both vow and lifted voice now,
With a holy joy be glad!
For Christ's sake, assassinated,
Is thy Thomas immolated,
A most precious victim made.
Primate, legate, though created.
He was ne'er with pride elated
By his honours' lofty height;
Steward of the King of heaven,
He was into exile driven,
Since he for his flock would fight.
With the Spirit's sword girt round him,
Victory with full triumph crowned him.
As with pastoral spear he fought;
For his God's law to be fighting,
For his flock's sake death inviting,
Ever was his chiefest thought.
Losing then its guide and master,
And deprived thus of its pastor,
Canterbury deeply grieved;
But then one, so justly noted,
Sens in France, with joy devoted.
And with glad acclaim received.
In his absence sore prostrated,
And, when prostrate, violated.
Was the Church no longer free;
So from 'mongst us thou departedst,
Father! but aside ne'er startedst
From the path of probity.
Once, amid the courtier bevy,
Thou wast foremost of the levy
In the palace of the king;
All the people approbation,
And the world loud acclamation,
As its wont is, offering.
Well-timed was thy transformation;
For of thee thy consecration
By a blest reciprocation
Made a new man happily:
Thou thine opposition endedst.
As a wall, the Church defendedst,
And thyself to death commendedst,
Willing thus for Christ to die.
Champion! who this life disdainest!
Victory in the fight thou gainest,
And the joyful palm obtainest;
Evidence of which the plainest
All thy wonders rare afford.
To the blind their sight thou givest,
And the lame man's powers revivest;
Thou paralysis relievest,
And the old foe backward drivest,
And transgressions' filthy horde.
Gem of priesthood, princely Thomas!
By thy prayer effectual from us
Take our lusts, our flesh subdue;
That, in Christ, the true Vine, rooted,
We may gain, thus constituted,
Life-joys both divine and true! Amen.
XXXVI. S. THOMAS CANTUARIUS
Pia mater plangat Ecclesia
Quod patravit major Britannia
Pietate movetur Francia;
Fugit coelum, tellus et maria
Scelus, inquam, non dicendum:
Grande scelus et horrendum
Patrem suum praedamnavit,
Et in sede trucidavit
Thomas totius Angliae
Flos vernans, et Ecclesiae
In templo Cantuariae
Pro legibus justitiae
Fit sacerdos et hostia.
Inter templum et altare,
Templi super liminare
Concutitur, non frangitur;
Sed gladiis conscinditur
Veluna templi medium.
Pax tradita dissolvitur
Et organum convertitur
In lamentum flentium.
Prope festum Innocentum
Innocentur ad tormentum
Et cerebrum effunditur
Ad decoris ornamentum
Templi rubet pavimentum,
Quod sanguine respergitur,
Dum sacerdos induitur
Furor ingens debacchatur,
Sanguis Justus condemnatur,
Ense caput dissecatur
In conspectu Domini:
Cum sacrabat, hic sacratur,
Ut virtutis relinquatur
Hoc exemplum homini.
Jam per orbem propalatum,
In odorem Deo gratum
Est pontifex oblatus;
Pro corona quae secatur
Duplex stola praeparatur,
Ubi sedes restauratur
Synagoga derogat, ridet Paganismus,
Insultant idolatrae, quod Christianismus
Nee patri pepercerit
Rachel plorat filium, non vult consolari,
Quam in matris utero vidit trucidari;
Super cujus obitum
Dant in fletu gemitum
Hic est ille pontifex
Quem supernus Artifex
In coelorum culmine
Cum mori non timuit,
Sed cervicem praebuit
In suo sanguine;
Ut abhinc exivit,
In sancta sanctorum.
Cujus mortem pretiosam testantur miracula,
Christe, nobis suffragetur per aeterna saecula!
XXXVI. ST. THOMAS of CANTERBURY
Now let our holy Mother-Church bemoan
What was aforetime by great Britain done;
'Twas a deed detestable:
By pious feelings France is deeply stirred,
And in all horror from the guilt abhorred
Flee heaven and earth and seas as well!
Ah! a crime beyond all telling,
One most hateful and repelling,
Was at England's hands then done:
She prejudged her father, newly
To his home restored, and foully
Murdered him upon his throne.
Thomas, all England's brightest flower,
The glory of the church, before
All others in exalted fame,
At Canterbury's temple door.
The laws of justice to secure,
Both sacrifice and priest became.
'Twixt the temple and the altar,
On the threshold, each assaulter
Doth rudely shake, but breaks him not;
Though with their swords in twain they cut
In its midst the temple veil.
Low Elisha's bald head lieth,
Zacharias, slaughtered, dieth;
Peace, thus betrayed, dissolves away,
And the sweet organ now can play
But the tearful mourners' wail.
Upon Childermas's morrow
Is this Innocent to sorrow
Dragged forth, and blows, and tortures' pain;
Whilst, on the earth outpoured, his brain,
Lo! the sword's point bareth.
As that temple's chiefest glory,
Blushes still its pavement gory,
Which is o'ersprinkled with his blood,
As there this holy priest of God
Robes of passion weareth.
Rages wrath, with fury fevered,
Just blood is to death delivered;
With a sword his head is shivered
In the presence of the Lord:
He to man a celebrated
Type of virtue doth afford.
Holocaust, with marrow welling,
Known to earth's remotest dwelling,
Sacrifice to God sweet-smelling,
This pontiff was selected;
For a crown that may be riven
Two-fold robes to him are given
On his primate's throne, in heaven
Restored and re-erected.
Jews depreciate our fame, Pagans show derision,
Such as worship idols scoff, that our own religion
Should to break its pledge have dared,
Neither have that father spared,
Over Christians reigning,
Rachel weepeth for that son, nor finds consolation.
Who thus in his mother's womb meets assassination;
Over whose untimely end
Holy hearts their tears expend,
This man is that pontiff bright,
Whom on heaven's supremest height
Its supernal maker, God,
Stablished in great glory,
When with swords all-gory
England's swordsmen smite him.
Since of death he felt no dread,
But surrendered up his head
To welter in his blood,
When he hence was driven
God to highest heaven
Did at once admit him.
Of his death indeed most precious mighty wonders testify;
Jesu! may he recommend us unto Thee eternally!
XXXVII. S. THOMAS CANTUARIUS
Aquas plenas amaritudine
Novi salis nova dulcedine,
Ollam plenam lethali gramine
Novi farris sanat pinguedine
Novus vervex pro grege moritur,
Et pro matre proles occiditur;
In obscuris sol novus oritur,
In quo serus annus promittitur
Abel novum Cayn malitia,
Novum Jacob Seïr saevitia,
Novum Joseph fratrum invidia
Intercepit fraude nefariâ
Surrexerunt in patrem pueri,
Non materno parcentes uberi;
Thomas praesul dum datur funeri,
Novum chaos videtur ingeri
Sed occumbit Abel in gloria,
Jacob servat Mesopotamia,
Joseph regnat in aulâ regia,
Thomas noster in coeli curiâ
Renovantur Anglorum gaudia.
Bethel novus fit Dorovernia,
Fit piscina propitiaria,
In qua jugis et multifaria
Dilatatur Jordanis fluvius,
Fit Naäman alter et tertius,
Derivatur Siloe longius,
Ccelum pluit manna profusius
Duplicatur Solaris radius;
Magnus Annae donatur filius,
Novum vatem Herodis gladius
Trucidato non desunt praemia;
Sancto namque pro sanctimonia,
Pro sincerae mentis constantia.
Vita, salus et lux aetherea
Abhinc multa facit prodigia:
Lepram curat, fugat daemonia;
Caecis visum, claudis vestigia,
Verba mutis, aegris remedia
Vir Belial luit blasphemias,
Quas in sanctum arsit injurias;
Visu dempto, tristes exsequias
Maturando nefandas furias
Vir devotus in sanctum Domini,
Zelo pravo sustractus lumini,
Sed mox datus visus acumini,
Laudes laetus divino nomini
Cruces, factae manu angelica,
Pii patris prece benefica,
Crebro pollent virtute coelica;
Far fit humi quod paralytica
Immolentur lucernae geminae,
Accenduntur coelesti lumine;
Declaratur in vasis fragmine
Locum sanctum fraudis molimine
Calce puer qui matrem laeserat
Poenitendo calcem absciderat;
Mox, ut opem sancti petierat,
Bipedalem gressum meruerat,
Nauta potens in navi mystica,
Nostra, Thoma, laudes et cantica
Summo Regi prece gratifica
Et eidem prece magnifica
Nos commenda. Amen.
XXXVII. ST. THOMAS of CANTERBURY
A new Elisha bitter waters heals
With such new sweetness as new salt reveals;
The pot too, which a herb most deadly fills,
He renders harmless by the fat of meal's
Lo! for the flock another wether dies,
And, for the mother slain, the offspring lies:
To light our darkness a new sun doth rise,
Which the long promised year to all supplies
'Gainst a new Abel doth Cain's malice fight;
Seir's fierceness 'gainst another Jacob's right;
Another Joseph hath his brethren's spite,
Seizing with wicked fraud, put out of sight
In these last days.
Sons 'gainst their fathers to rebel have dared,
Not having e'en their mother's bosom spared:
As Bishop Thomas to his death is snared,
Lo! a new chaos, for all earth prepared,
The eye surveys.
But Abel covered with great glory falls;
Haran saves Jacob, when for help he calls;
Joseph bears rule within a monarch's walls;
Our Thomas too is crowned in the bright halls
Of highest heaven.
All Englishmen, their joys renewed, are glad,
And Canterbury, new Bethesda made,
Becomes a pool, the sinful soul to aid,
Whence at all times to all around it laid
The river Jordan wider tracts streams o'er;
Another and third Naaman seeks its shore;
Siloam's pool spreads further than before.
Whilst heaven far more profusely than of yore
Doth manna rain.
The sun's rays are with double power outpoured;
A mighty son to Hannah is secured;
Another prophet Herod's ruthless sword
With shamelessness yet more to be abhorred
Hath foully slain.
But, slaughtered thus, a full reward hath he;
For to the saint for his great sanctity,
And his pure heart's untiring constancy,
Salvation, life, and light most heavenly,
Is freely given.
Henceforth he works unnumbered prodigies;
Lepers are cleansed, the devil's legion flies;
Strength for the lame, and sight for blinded eyes,
Speech for the dumb, for sick folk remedies,
He asks of heaven.
A son of Belial blasphemies he swore,
Burning the saint to harm, atoneth for;
The loss of sight and death did he incur,
An early death, which stopped for evermore
His wrath's fierce stream.
A man, who in the Lord's saint took delight.
And had his eyes put out by bigot spite.
But soon again recovered perfect sight,
Sang constant praises with rejoicing bright
To God's great name.
Crosses, which were by angel fingers made,
When kindly prayers this pious father prayed,
Through heavenly virtue oft great power displayed;
And grain, that heals the limbs with palsy dead,
On earth is grown.
An offering of two lamps was made, which same
Are lighted up by a celestial flame:
The broken fragments of a vase proclaim
Who hath to some blest shrine by fraudful scheme
A lad, who with his foot his mother lamed,
Cut off that foot to show himself ashamed;
Soon, when he had this saint's assistance claimed,
He walked upon two feet, as if ne'er maimed,
A wonder rare!
O seaman, who in mystic ship bear'st sway!
Our joyful praises and this grateful lay
To the great King in kindly prayer to-day,
Thomas! commend, and us to Him, we pray,
In potent prayer! Amen.
XXXVIII. S. GENOVEFA
Solemne parit gaudium;
Cordis erumpat puritas
In laudis sacrificium!
Felix ortus infantulae,
Teste Germano praesule:
Quod praevidit in spiritu,
Rerum probatur exitu.
Hie ad pectus virgineum,
Pro pudoris signaculo,
Nummum suspendit aeneum,
Crucis insignem titulo.
Oblato dotat munere,
In templum Sancti Spiritus
Sub Christi dicans foedere.
Insontem manu feriens,
Mater privatur lumine;
Matri virgo compatiens
Lucis dat usum pristinae.
Carnem frangit jejunio,
Terramque rigans lacrymis,
Jugi gaudet martyrio.
Coelesti duce praevio,
Coelos lustrat et tartara,
Civesque precum studio
Servat a gente barbara.
Divino diu munere
Sitim levat artificum;
Confractum casu miserae
Matri resignat unicum.
Ad primam precem virginis
Pax datur energuminis,
Spes aegris, reis venia.
In ejus manus cerei
Per hanc in sinus alvei
Redit amnis coercitus.
Ignem sacrum refrigerat,
Post mortem vivens meritis,
Quae prius in se vicerat
Aestus interni fomitis.
Morti, morbis, daemonibus,
Et dementis imperat:
Sic Genovefa precibus
Naturae leges superat.
Operatur in parvulis
Christi virtus magnalia:
Christo, pro tot miraculis,
Laus frequens, jugis gloria! Amen.
XXXVIII. ST. GENEVIEVE
Genevieve a holy mirth
Brings forth upon her holy day;
Then let the chastened heart break forth,
The sacrifice of praise to pay!
Blest was that infant's birth of yore,
As Bishop Germain witness bore.
And what in spirit he foreknew
The issue of events proves true.
Upon the virgin's bosom laid,
To mark her spotless chastity,
A medal, that of bronze was made.
Stamped with a cross suspendeth he.
Genevieve he then endows
With gifts that heaven-sent power can boast,
And consecrates through Christian vows
A temple for the Holy Ghost.
For striking at the guileless maid
Her mother's eyes lose all their light
The virgin, for her mother sad,
Restores to them their former sight.
Genevieve, the great-souled, wears
Her fleshly frame by fasts away,
And joys, bedewing earth with tears,
In martyrdom from day to day.
'Neath angel guidance she surveys
The heavens above and hell below;
And saves, so fervently she prays.
The people from a barbarous foe.
Long doth she with unearthly power
Some workmen's thirst alleviate;
And at a mother's tears restore
Her only son, struck down by fate.
At the pure maiden's earliest prayer
Trembles and quakes all Satan's race;
While rest and peace demoniacs share,
The sickly hope, the guilty grace.
Some waxen tapers in her hand
With heaven-sent flame are made to burn;
Its waters too at her command
Back to a river's bed return.
She by her merits, - living still
When dead, - cools down "the Ardents'" fire,
Who in herself before could quell
The flames within of hot desire.
Disease, death, powers of the air,
And elements, all own her sway;
So Genevieve by force of prayer
Makes Nature's laws her will obey.
In very babes Christ's power alone
Works mighty deeds effectually:
To Christ for such great wonders done
All praise and endless glory be! Amen.
XXXIX. S. AGNES
Animemur ad agonem,
Contrectantes sacrum florem,
Respiremus ad odorem
Pulchra, prudens et illustris,
Jam duobus Agnes lustris
Proles amat hanc praefecti,
Sed ad ejus virgo flecti
Mira vis fidei,
Sic Dei Filius,
Prodit in fragili.
Languet amans, cubat lecto,
Languor notus fit praefecto;
Offert multa, spondet plura,
Sed vilescunt omnia.
Quam Christus induit
Fit locus luminis:
Caecus amans indignatur,
Et irrumpens praefocatur
A maligno spiritu.
Luget pater, lugent cuncti,
Roma flevit pro defuncti
Suscitatur ab Agnete;
Turba fremit indiscrete;
Rogum parant virgini:
Rogus ardens reos urit,
In furentes flamma furit,
Dans honorem numini.
Grates agens Salvatori,
Guttur offert haec lictori;
Nec ad horam timet mori,
Agnes, Agni salutaris
Stans ad dextram gloriaris,
Et parentes consolaris,
Invitans ad gaudia.
Ne te flerent ut defunctam,
Jam coelesti Sponso junctam,
His, sub agni forma, suam
Revelavit atque tuam
Nos ab Agno salutari
Non permitte separari,
Cui te totam consecrasti,
Cujus ope tu curasti
Vas electum, vas honoris,
Incorrupti flos odoris,
Angelorum grata choris,
Honestatis et pudoris
Forman praebes saeculo.
Palma fruens triumphali,
Flore vernans virginali,
Nos indignos speciali,
Fac sanctorum generali
Vel subscribi titulo. Amen.
XXXIX. ST. AGNES
As we tell once more the fashion
Of this glorious virgin's passion,
Be we kindled to the fight:
As we touch the sacred flower,
Let us breathe the scents that shower
From its sweetness' full delight!
Beautiful and wise and noble,
Agnes now had to the double
Of five years an added three:
Much the prefect's first-born loves her,
But to maiden scorn he moves her.
Not submission to his plea.
Wonderful power of faith,
Wonderful virtue hath
Virgin hearts' constancy!
So did the Son of God
Come of His wondrous will,
And in frail flesh abode;
Which is more wondrous still!
Sick, to bed the lover goeth:
When the cause the prefect knoweth,
Quickly seeks he for a cure:
Much now, vowing more, he proffers, -
Short-lived offerer, short-lived offers! -
But his gifts are all too poor.
Her doth the prefect, bare,
To outrage vile expose,
But a thick fringe of hair
Christ round her body throws,
And a robe heaven-whitened.
One of the angel-race
Beside her takes his place;
The den of lust that night
Becomes the abode of light,
And the lewd are frightened.
Her blind lover, most indignant,
Rushes in, and a malignant
Spirit robs him of life-breath.
Weeps his father, all are crying,
Rome bewailed a young man dying
By so terrible a death.
He is raised by Agnes' pleading;
But the crowd, - blind rage misleading! -
For the maid prepare the stake:
Its bright blaze the guilty burneth;
'Gainst the fierce the fierce flame turneth
For the Most High's honour's sake.
To the Saviour thanks she proffers,
To the lictor her throat offers;
Neither fears she when she suffers,
Conscious of her purity.
Agnes! thou, thy crown receiving,
At the saving Lamb's side living,
Comfort to thy parents giving,
Bidd'st them mount to joys on high!
Lest they mourn, as dead and buried.
One, to Spouse divine now married,
In a lamb's shape, Christ the story
Of His own and of thy glory
Set before them, spotless maid!
Suffer not our separation
From that Lamb, our One salvation;
Unto Whom devoted wholly,
Thou didst noble Constance throughly
Heal of sickness by His aid.
Vessel, glorious and elected!
Flower, with scent by naught affected!
By the angelic choirs respected!
Thou art as the type erected
Of a maiden's spotless fame.
Off the palm of victory bearing,
Still thy virgin blossom wearing,
Grant we may, unfit appearing
For a special title, share in,
With the saints, their general name! Amen.