Te dicimus præconio
O Virgin Mother of our God
Meter: Iambic dimeter.
Translation by Archbishop Bagshawe; there are no other translations.
Liturgical Use: Hymn for Matins on the Feast of
the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate at Lourdes.
- Te dicimus præconio,
Intacta Mater Numinis,
Nostris benigna laudibus
Tuam repende gratiam.
- Sontes Adami posted
Infecta proles gignimur;
Labis paternæ nescia
Tu sola, Virgo, crederis.
- Caput draconis invidi
Tu conteris vestigio,
Et sola gloriam refers
- O gentis humanæ decus
Quæ tollis Hevæ opprobrium,
Tu nos tuere supplices,
Tu nos labantes erige.
- Serpentis antique potens
Astus retunde et impetus,
Ut cœlitum perennibus
Per te fruamur gaudiis.
- Jesu, tibi si gloria
Qui natus es de Virgine,
Cum Patre, et almo Spititu
In sempiternal sæcula.
- O Virgin Mother of our God,
While we thy matchles glories chant,
Do thou, in answer to our praise,
To us abundant graces grant.
- We Adam’s guilty children are,
A sin-infected progeny,
Thou art, O Virgin, we believe,
Alone from his infection free.
- The envious dragon’s cruel head
Thou with thy heel dost trample down,
And of a stainless origin
Thou only dost the glory own.
- O Flower of the human race,
Who takest Eve’s reproach away,
Protect us when we cry to thee,
Our tottering footsteps deign to stay.
- From the old serpent’s wiles and force,
Thy clients mightily defend,
That, through thy mercy, they may win
Those heavenly joys which never end.
- Jesus, to Thee be glory given,
Whom erst the Virgin-Mother bore,
With Father and with Holy Ghost,
Through endless ages evermore.
This Feast was authorized by Pope Leo XIII, and was
extended to the entire Church by Pope Pius X, in 1907.
The Office with its three proper hymns appeared only recently
in the Breviary.
The hymns are translated by Archbishop Bagshawe, in
his Breviary Hymns and Missal Sequences. With the exception
of the hymn for Matins they are also translated by
the Benedictines of Stanbrook, in their The Day Hours of
To understand many allusions in these hymns, the article
on Lourdes, in the Cath. Encycl. should be consulted. This
is especially true of the hymn Omnis expertem.
- “We praise thee with jubilation, O stainless Mother of
God; for our praises, graciously bestow upon us thy
- “We guilty descendants of Adam are brought forth
a sin-infected people; thou alone, O Virgin, we believe art
free from our first father's infection.” Crederis, passive,
thou art believed. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception
was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX, Dec. 8, 1854. Read
the article on Immaculate Conception, in the Cath. Encycl.
- “Thou dost crush with thy heel the head of the envious
dragon, and dost alone preserve the glory of a stainless
origin.” Vestigio: lit., a footprint; that part of the foot
which makes a print—the sole. It is here used in the sense
of calcaneum, the heel. Ipsa conteret caput tuum, et tu
insidiaberis calcaneo ejus (Gen. 3, 15).
- “O thou, the glory of the human race, who takest
away the reproach of Eve, protect thy suppliants, and encourage
us who waver.”
- “Do thou mightily frustrate the cunning and the assaults
of the old serpent, and through thee may we enjoy
the everlasting joys of heaven.”
Copyright Benziger Brothers, 1922. Online Edition Copyright David M. Cheney, 2019.