Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Lux o decora patriæ

O lovely light of fatherland

Saints Cyril and Methodius
7 July

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Lux o decora patriæ,
    Slavisque amica gentibus,
    Salvete, fratres, annuo
    Vos efferemus cantico:
  2. Quos Roma plaudens excipit,
    Complexa mater filios,
    Auget corona præsulum,
    Novoque firmat robore.
  3. Terras ad usque barbaras
    Inferre Christum pergitis;
    Quot vanus error luserat,
    Almo repletis lumine.
  4. Noxis soluta pectora
    Ardor supernus abripit;
    Mutatur horror veprium
    In sanctitatis flosculos.
  5. Et nunc serena cœlitum
    Locati in aula, supplici
    Adeste voto; Slavicas
    Servate gentes Numini.
  6. Errore mersos unicum
    Ovile Christi congreget;
    Factis avitis æmula
    Fides virescat pulchrior.
  7. Tu nos, beata Trinitas,
    Cœlesti amore concita;
    Patrumque natos inclyta
    Da persequi vestigia.
  1. O lovely light of fatherland!
    Kind beacon to Slavonic race,
    Brothers, all hail! your festival
    With yearly canticle we grace.
  2. Whom Rome applauding did receive,
    As mother doth her sons embrace,
    With pontiff’s miter deck your brows,
    Gird with new strength, new toil to face.
  3. To far-off barb’rous lands ye hie,
    Knowledge and love of Christ to bear;
    Whom error vain had long deceived,
    Ye now with light replenish fair.
  4. In hearts unfettered from the grasp
    Of ill, doth heav’nly ardor glow;
    Where horrid thorns the land devoured,
    The flowers of holiness now grow.
  5. At length in heav’nly court enthroned,
    Ye rest securely; as we pray,
    Oh, hear our cry: the Slavic race
    Vouchsafe from God may never stray.
  6. All wanderers plunged in errors dark
    May Christ’s one fold to union bring;
    While emulous of ancestral deeds
    May faith to new-born beauty spring.
  7. Do Thou, O blissful Trinity,
    Inflame us with Thy heav’nly fires,
    And grant the sons may ever tread
    The noble footsteps of their sires.
Authors and Translators as in the preceding hymn. There are three translations. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Lauds on the Feast of SS. Cyril and Methodius.
  1. “O beauteous light of your fatherland, and light benignly disposed towards the Slavonic nations, brothers, all hail! we will praise you in our yearly song of praise.” Amica, adj., friendly.
  2. “Whom Rome applauding receives as a mother embracing her sons, she honors them with the miter of bishops and endows them with new strength.” Supply eos in the last two lines of this stanza.
  3. “Ye proceed to barbarous lands to bring them Christ: as many as vain error had deceived, ye fill with the blessed light of faith.”
  4. “A heavenly zeal takes possession of hearts feed from sin; the horrid sight of thorns is now changed into flowers of holiness.” The last two lines are to be understood in a figurative sense. After the fall of man, God cursed the earth, and it was to bring forth thorns and thistles (Gen. 3, 18). This was all changed by the Redemption, and the earth watered by the Blood of Christ would bring forth “flowers of sanctity” where hitherto only thorns abounded. This is beautifully expressed in the second stanza of Hymn 119.
  5. “And now, O ye who are established in the serene abode of the Blessed, hear our suppliant prayer: preserve for God the Slavic nations.”
  6. “May the one fold of Christ unite those now sunk in error; may their faith, emulous of the deeds of their forefathers, bloom with even greater beauty.” Æmula, adj., emulating, rivaling; constr. with the dative.
  7. “Thou, O Blessed Trinity quicken us with heavenly love, and grant that the sons may follow in the illustrious footsteps of their Fathers.”