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Rex gloriose Martyrum

O Glorious King of Martyr hosts

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Rex gloriose Martyrum,
    Corona confitentium,
    Qui respuentes terrea
    Perducis ad cœlestia:
  2. Aurem benignam protinus
    Intende nostris vocibus:
    Trophæa sacra pangimus:
    Ignosce quod deliquimus.
  3. Tu vincis inter Martyres,
    Parcisque Confessoribus:
    Tu vince nostra crimina,
    Largitor indulgentise.
  4. Deo Patri sit gloria,
    Et Filio, qui a mortuis
    Surrexit, ac Paraclito,
    In sempiterna sæcula.
  1. O Glorious King of Martyr hosts,
    Thou Crown that each Confessor boasts,
    Who leadest to celestial day
    Those who have cast earth’s joys away:
  2. Thine ear in mercy, Saviour, lend,
    While unto Thee our prayers ascend;
    And as we count their triumphs won,
    Forgive the sins that we have done.
  3. Martyrs in Thee their triumphs gain,
    From Thee Confessors grace obtain;
    O’ercome in us the lust of sin,
    That we Thy pardoning love may win.
  4. To Thee who, dead, again dost live,
    All glory, Lord, Thy people give;
    All glory, as is ever meet,
    To Father and to Paraclete.
Author: Ambrosian, 6th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by R. F. Littledale and G. H. Palmer. There are fifteen translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Lauds. There is an article on this hymn in the Cath. Encycl. From the references to Confessors, in this hymn, it would seem that it was originally intended for the feasts of Martyrs and Confessors. See the article on Martyr in the Cath. Encycl.
  1. “O glorious King of Martyrs and Crown of Confessors, who leadest to heavenly things those who despise the things of earth.”
  2. “Turn quickly a gracious ear to our prayers; we sing of sacred victories; pardon what we have done amiss.” Trophœum, lit., a trophy, a monument of victory; by meton., the victory itself.
  3. “In the Martyrs Thou dost conquer, and Thou dost spare the Confessors: O dispenser of mercy, conquer Thou our sins.” Inter = per. The Martyrs are the faithful soldiers of Christ, who conquers in their victories, as a general conquers in the achievements of his army. The Confessors are “spared,” i.e., they are not called to shed their blood for Christ.