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Te splendor et virtus Patris

O Jesu! Life-spring of the soul!

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Te splendor et virtus Patris,
    Te vita, Jesu, cordium,
    Ab ore qui pendent tuo,
    Laudamus inter Angelos.
  2. Tibi mille densa millium
    Ducum corona militat:
    Sed explicat victor crucem
    Michael salutis signifer.
  3. Draconis hic dirum caput
    In ima pellit tartara,
    Ducemque cum rebellibus
    Cœlesti ab arce fulminat.
  4. Contra ducem superbiæ
    Sequamur hunc nos principem,
    Ut detur ex Agni throno
    Nobis corona gloriæ.
  5. Patri, simulque Filio,
    Tibique sancte Spiritus,
    Sicut fuit, sit jugiter
    Sæclum per omne gloria.
  1. O Jesu! Life-spring of the soul!
    The Father’s power and glory bright!
    Thee with the Angels we extol;
    From Thee they draw their life and light.
  2. Thy thousand thousand hosts are spread
    Embattled o’er the azure sky;
    But Michael bears Thy standard dread,
    And lifts the mighty Cross on high.
  3. He in that Sign the rebel powers
    Did with their Dragon Prince expel;
    And hurled them from the heavens’ high towers,
    Down like a thunderbolt to hell.
  4. Grant us, with Michael, still, O Lord,
    Against the prince of pride to fight;
    So may a crown be our reward,
    Before the Lamb’s pure throne of light.
  5. To God the Father, with the Son
    And Holy Paraclete, with Thee,
    As evermore hath been before,
    Be glory through eternity.
Author: Ascribed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Father Caswall. There are eighteen translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Vespers and Matins. First line of Original Text: Tibi Christe splendor Patris. In this and in the following hymn the Church sings the praises not only of St. Michael but of all the holy Angels. Read the article on Michael the Archangel, in the Cath. Encycl. At the end of the article there is an account given of Michaelmas Day. There are separate articles on each of the Angels mentioned in the following hymn (No. 135).

In the revision of 1632, this hymn, according to the Dict. of Hymnology was “recast greatly for the worse.” The Original Text with J. M. Neale’s translation is given below.

  1. “Thee, O splendor and power of the Father, Thee, O Jesus, the life of our hearts, we praise in the presence of the Angels who hang upon the words of Thy mouth.” Pendent, to regard with close attention.
  2. “It is for Thee this dense host of countless thousands of princes engage in battle: but it is the victorious Michael, the standard-bearer of salvation, who unfurls the standard of the Cross.” Corona, a crown, also an assembly. Mille is sometimes used in the sense of countless, innumerable, infinite. As to the number of Angels, Cf. Matt. 26, 53; Apoc. 5, 11. For the “great battle in heaven,” Cf. Apoc. 12, 7-9.
  3. “He casts the direful head of the dragon into the depths of hell, and hurls headlong from the heavenly citadel the prince together with his rebels.” Hic, Michael. Of Satan’s fall Our Lord said: Videbam satanam sicut fulgur de cœlo cadentem (Luke 10, 18).
  4. “Let us follow this leader against the prince of pride, that a crown of glory may be given to us from the throne of the Lamb.”
  1. Tibi Christe splendor Patris,
    Vita, virtus cordium,
    In conspectu Angelorum
    Votis, voce psallimus:
    Alternantes concrepando
    Melos damus vocibus.
  2. Collaudamus venerantes
    Omnes cœli principes,
    Sed præcipue primatem
    Cœlestis exercitus
    Michaelem, in virtute
    Conterentem zabulum.
  3. Quo custode procul pelle,
    Rex Christe piissime,
    Omne nefas inimici:
    Mundo corde et corpore
    Paradiso redde tuo
    Nos sola clementia.
  4. Gloriam Patri melodis
    Personemus vocibus:
    Gloriam Christo canamus,
    Gloriam Paraclito:
    Qui trinus, et unus Deus
    Exstat ante sæcula.
  1. Thee, O Christ, the Father’s spendor,
    Life and virtue of the heart,
    In the presence of the Angels
    Sing we now with tuneful art,
    Meetly in alternate chorus
    Bearing our responsive part.
  2. Thus we praise with veneration
    All the armies of the sky;
    Chiefly him, the warrior Primate,
    Of celestial chivalry,
    Michael, who in princely virtue
    Cast Abaddon from on high.
  3. By whose watchful care repelling—
    King of everlasting grace—
    Every ghostly adversary,
    All things evil, all things base,
    Grant us of Thine only goodness
    In Thy Paradise a place.
  4. Laud and honor to the Father,
    Laud and honor to the Son,
    Laud and honor to the Spirit,
    Ever Three, and ever One,
    Consubstantial, co-eternal,
    While unending ages run.
This is the Original Text of the preceding hymn. Translation by J. M. Neale. Meter: Trochaic tetrameter catalectic. The lines are here divided at the caesura.