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Cœlestis Agni nuptias

To be the Lamb’s celestial bride

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Cœlestis Agni nuptias,
    O Juliana, dum petis,
    Domum paternam deseris,
    Chorumque ducis Virginum.
  2. Sponsumque suffixum Cruci
    Noctes, diesque dum gemis,
    Doloris icta cuspide,
    Sponsi refers imaginem.
  3. Quin septiformi vulnere
    Fles ad genu Deiparæ:
    Sed crescit infusa fletu,
    Flammasque tollit caritas.
  4. Hinc morte fessam proxima
    Non usitato te modo
    Solatur, et nutrit Deus,
    Dapem supernam porrigens.
  5. Æterne rerum Conditor,
    Æterne Fili par Patri,
    Et par utrique Spiritus,
    Soli tibi sit gloria.
  1. To be the Lamb’s celestial bride
    Is Juliana’s one desire;
    For this she quits her father’s home,
    And leads the sacred virgin choir.
  2. By day, by night, she mourns her Spouse
    Nailed to the Cross, with ceaseless tears,
    Till in herself, through very grief,
    The image of that Spouse appears.
  3. Like Him, all wounds, she kneels transfixed
    Before the Virgin-Mother’s shrine;
    And still the more she weeps, the more
    Mounts up the flame of love divine.
  4. That love so deep the Lord repaid
    His handmaid on her dying bed;
    When, with the Food of heavenly life,
    By miracle her soul He fed.
  5. All praise to Thee, O Maker blest!
    Praise to the everlasting Son;
    Praise to the mighty Paraclete
    While ages upon ages run.
Author: Francesco Maria Lorenzini (1680-1743). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Father Caswall. There are four translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Vespers and Matins. St. Juliana was the foundress of the Third Order of Servites. She died in the year 1341.
  1. “When thou, O Juliana, didst seek the nuptials of the Heavenly Lamb, thou didst abandon thy father’s house and lead a choir of virgins.” For an explanation of the term “Nuptials of the Heavenly Lamb,” see the article on Marriage, Mystical, in the Cath. Encycl.
  2. “By day and night thou didst bewail thy Spouse fastened to the Cross, till pierced with a sword of sorrow thou didst bear the image of thy Spouse.” Cuspide, a sharp point.
  3. “Yea, with a sevenfold wound thou didst weep at the feet of the Mother of God, but by thy tears, the charity infused increased and rendered more keen the poignancy (flammas) of thy grief.” Septiformi vulnere: The seven Sorrows of our Blessed Mother. Flammas, sc. doloris. Tears of sorrow increase the love of God in our hearts and thereby render the greatest sorrows more endurable.
  4. “Hence it was that exhausted by the approach of death, in no ordinary manner did God console and nourish thee, spreading out before thee Heavenly Food.” There is reference in this stanza to a miraculous image found on the Saint’s breast after her death. “Being unable to receive Holy Communion because of constant vomiting, she requested the priest to spread a corporal on her breast and lay the Host on it. Shortly afterwards the Host disappeared and Juliana expired, and the image of a cross, such as had been on the Host, was found on her breast” (Cath. Encycl.).
  5. “Eternal Creator of the world, Eternal Son equal to the Father, and Spirit equal to both: to Thee alone (O Trinity) be glory.”