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Cœlestis aulæ Nuntius

The Messenger from God’s high throne

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Cœlestis aulæ Nuntius,
    Arcana pandens Numinis,
    Plenam salutat gratia
    Dei Parentem Virginem.
  2. Virgo propinquam sanguine
    Matrem Joannis visitat,
    Qui clausus alvo gestiens
    Adesse Christum nuntiat.
  3. Verbum, quod ante sæcula
    E mente Patris prodiit,
    E Matris alvo Virginis
    Mortalis Infans nascitur.
  4. Templo puellus sistitur,
    Legique paret Legifer,
    Hic se Redemptor paupere
    Pretio redemptus immolat.
  5. Quem jam dolebat perditum,
    Mox læta Mater invenit
    Ignota doctis mentibus
    Edisserentem Filium.
  6. Gloria tibi Domine
    Qui natus es de Virgine,
    Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu
    In sempiterna sæcula.
  1. The Messenger from God’s high throne
    His secret counsel making known
    Hails Mary, child of David’s race,
    God’s Virgin-Mother, full of grace.
  2. The Mother-Maid with joyous feet
    Her friend, John’s mother, goes to greet;
    He, stirring in the enclosing womb,
    Declares that Christ his Lord has come.
  3. The Word, who ere the worlds began,
    From God the Father’s thought forth ran,
    Of Mary, Virgin undefiled,
    For us is born a mortal child.
  4. Christ to the Temple courts they bring;
    The King’s own law subjects the King;
    The world’s Redeemer for a price
    Is there redeemed, our sacrifice.
  5. The joyful Mother finds once more
    The Son she mourned as lost before;
    While doctors by His speech were shown
    The mysteries they had never known.
  6. To God the Three in One be praise,
    Who through these holy mysteries
    Grants grace to those who seek in prayer
    The glory of His bliss to share.
Author: Father Augustine Ricchini, O.P., 18th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Alan G. McDougall. There are five translations. Liturgical Use: Vespers hymn. Theme: The Five Joyful Mysteries—one stanza being devoted to each Mystery. The Breviary Office in honor of the Most Holy Rosary, with its four proper hymns, was approved by Pope Leo XIII, in 1888. In studying the hymns it will be observed that the first three hymns celebrate in their fifteen stanzas, the fifteen Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. The fourth hymn is a recapitulation of the subject matter of the first three hymns. The hymns were written in 1757.
  1. The Annunciation: “The messenger of the heavenly court, revealing the mysteries of the Divinity, salutes, as full of grace, the Virgin-Mother of God.” Nuntius, the Archangel Gabriel (Cf. Luke 1, 26-28).
  2. The Visitation: “The Virgin visits one related to her by blood, the mother of John, who, though still enclosed in the womb, exultingly proclaims that Christ is present.” Exultavit infans in utero ejus (Luke 1, 41). Propinquam sanguine, Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin (Luke 1, 36); read the remainder of this chapter of St. Luke. It gives an account of the Visitation, and in it are found the two sublime Evangelical Canticles, the Magnificat (verses 46-55), and the Benedictus (verses 68-79).
  3. The Nativity: “The Word that from all eternity had proceeded from the intellect of the Father is born a mortal infant from the womb of a Virgin-Mother.” Verbum, the Eternal Son (Cf. John 1, 1-14).
  4. The Presentation: “The Child is presented in the temple, the Lawgiver obeys the Law, here the Redeemer offers Himself, and is redeemed by the offering of the poor.” The Law (Leviticus 12, 6-8) specified the offerings that must be made by the rich and by the poor on the purification of a woman after childbirth. The latter were required to offer a sacrifice of “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” (Cf. Luke 2, 22-24). Mary made the offering of the poor, and did for Him “according to the custom of the Law” (Luke 2, 27). The purification of the mother, and the redemption of the Child (Num. 18, 15) were quite different legal prescriptions, but it is reasonable to suppose that both ceremonies took place at the same time. Read the beautiful Canticle of Simeon (Luke 2, 29- 32).
  5. The Finding in the Temple: “Now the joyful Mother finds her Son whom she had already mourned as lost; finds Him expounding to learned minds things they did not know.”