Æterne Rector siderum
Ruler of the dread immense
Author: Ascribed to Cardinal Bellarmine (1542-1621).
Meter: Iambic dimeter.
Translation by Father Caswall. There
are seven translations.
Liturgical Use: Hymn for Lauds
on the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.
- Æterne Rector siderum,
Qui, quidquid est, potentia
Magna creasti, nec regis
- Adesto supplicantium
Tibi reorum cœtui,
Lucisque sub crepusculum
Lucem novam da mentibus.
- Tuusque nobis Angelus
Electus ad custodiam,
Hic adsit; a contagio
Ut criminum nos protegat.
- Nobis draconis æmuli
Ne rete fraudulentiæ
Incauta nectat pectora.
- Metum repellat hostium
Nostris procul de finibus:
Pacem procuret civium,
- Deo Patri sit gloria,
Qui, quos redemit Filius,
Et sanctus unxit Spiritus,
Per Angelos custodiat.
- Ruler of the dread immense!
Maker of this mighty frame!
Whose eternal providence
Guides it, as from Thee it came:
- Low before Thy throne we bend;
Hear our supplicating cries;
And Thy light celestial send
With the freshly dawning skies.
- King of kings, and Lord most High!
This of Thy dear love we pray:
May Thy Guardian Angel nigh,
Keep us from all sin this day.
- May he crush the deadly wiles
Of the envious serpent’s art,
Ever spreading cunning toils
Round about the thoughtless heart
- May he scatter ruthless war
Ere to this our land it come;
Plague and famine drive away,
Fix securely peace at home.
- Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
One eternal Trinity!
Guard by Thy Angelic host
Us who put our trust in Thee.
- “Eternal Ruler of the stars, who, with great power
didst create whatever exists, and with no less providence
dost govern the same; give heed to the assembly of the
guilty who supplicate Thee, and, at the break of day, grant
new light to our souls.” Crepusculum, twilight—generally
the evening twilight. Here it is used for “dawn” as Lauds
was said at daybreak.
- “And Thy Angel, who was chosen as our guardian,
may he be present here to protect us from the contagion of
- “May he bring to naught for us the wiles of the
envious dragon, lest he ensnare unwary hearts in the net
- “May he drive far from our borders the fear of
enemies; may he procure peace among the citizens and
- “Glory be to the Father, who guardeth by His Angels
those whom the Son redeemed and the Holy Spirit
anointed,” Unxit, strengthened.
Copyright Benziger Brothers, 1922. Online Edition Copyright David M. Cheney, 2019.