Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Athleta Christi nobilis

Noble champion of the Lord

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Athleta Christi nobilis
    Idola damnat Gentium,
    Deique amore saucius
    Vitæ pericla despicit.
  2. Loris revinctus asperis,
    E rupe præceps volvitur:
    Spineta vultum lancinant:
    Per saxa corpus scinditur.
  3. Dum membra raptant Martyris,
    Languent siti satellites:
    Signo crucis Venantius
    E rupe fontes elicit.
  4. Bellator o fortissime,
    Qui perfidis tortoribus
    E caute præbes poculum,
    Nos rore gratiæ irriga.
  5. Sit laus Patri, sit Filio,
    Tibique sancte Spiritus:
    Da per preces Venantii
    Beata nobis gaudia.
  1. Noble champion of the Lord!
    Armed against idolatry!
    In thy fervent zeal for God
    Death had naught of fear for thee.
  2. Bound with thongs, thy youthful form
    Down the rugged steep they tear,
    Jagged rock and rending thorn
    All thy tender flesh lay bare.
  3. Spent with toil, the savage crew,
    Fainting, sinks with deadly thirst;
    Thou the Cross dost sign; and lo!
    From the rock the waters burst.
  4. Saintly warrior-prince! who thus
    Thy tormentors couldst forgive;
    Pour the dew of grace on us,
    Bid our fainting spirits live.
  5. To Thee, O Father, with the Son
    And Holy Spirit, glory be;
    Oh, grant us through Thy Martyr’s prayer
    The joys of immortality.
Author: Unknown, 17th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Father Caswall. There are three translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Matins on the Feast of St. Venantius.
  1. “The noble athlete of Christ abominates the idols of the pagans, and smitten with the love of God he despises the dangers that threaten his life.”
  2. “Bound with rough thongs he is precipitated headlong from a cliff; thorns lacerate his countenance, and his body is torn by the sharp rocks.”
  3. “While the executioner’s attendants drag along the limbs of the Martyr, they become faint with thirst; by the sign of the Cross Venantius causes water to issue forth from a rock.”
  4. “O thou most brave warrior who dost offer to thy torturers a drink brought forth from a rock, refresh us with the dew of grace.”