Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Virginis Proles

Son of a Virgin

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Virginis Proles, Opifexque Matris,
    Virgo quem gessit, peperitque Virgo;
    Virginis festum canimus beatæ,
       Accipe votum.
  2. Hæc enim palmæ duplicis beata
    Sorte, dum gestit fragilem domare
    Corporis sexum, domuit cruentum
       Cæde tyrannum.
  3. Unde nec mortem, nec amica mortis
    Mille pœnarum genera expavescens,
    Sanguine effuse meruit serenum
       Scandere cœlum.
  4. Hujus oratu Deus alme nobis
    Debitas pœnas scelerum remitte;
    Ut tibi puro resonemus almum
       Pectore carmen.
  5. Sit decus Patri, genitæque Proli,
    Et tibi compar utriusque virtus
    Spiritus semper, Deus unus omni
       Temporis ævo.
  1. Son of a Virgin, Maker of Thy Mother,
    Thou, Rod and Blossom from a Stem unstained,
    Now while a Virgin fair of fame we honor,
       Hear our devotion!
  2. Lo, on Thy handmaid fell a twofold blessing,
    Who, in her body vanquishing the weakness,
    In that same body, grace from heaven obtaining,
       Bore the world witness.
  3. Death, no the rending pains of death appalled her;
    Bondage and torment found her undefeated:
    So by the shedding of her blood attained she
       Heavenly guerdon.
  4. Fountain of mercy, hear the prayers she offers;
    Purge our offences, pardon our transgressions,
    So that hereafter we to Thee may render
       Praise with thanksgiving.
  5. Thou, the All-Father, Thou, the One-Begotten,
    Thou, Holy Spirit, Three in One co-equal
    Glory be henceforth Thine through all the ages,
       World without ending.
Author: Unknown, 8th cent. Meter: Sapphic and Adonic. Translation by Laurence Housman. There are eight translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Matins in the Common of Virgins. To be more explicit, the five stanzas of this hymn are used as follows:
  1. The complete hymn for Virgin-Martyrs.
  2. Stanzas 1, 4, 5, for Virgins.
  3. Stanzas 4, 5, for Holy Women.
  1. “O Offspring of a Virgin and Creator of Thy Mother, whom a Virgin carried in her womb, and to whom a Virgin gave birth; we celebrate in song the Feast of a Virgin; hear Thou our prayer.” The Virgin mentioned in the first two lines is our Blessed Lady; the Virgin mentioned in the third line is the Saint whose Feast is being celebrated. For a Virgin-Martyr the last two lines read:
    Virginis partos canimus decora
    Morte triumphos.
    “We sing of the triumphs obtained by the glorious death of a Virgin.”
  2. “For she was blessed with the portion of a twofold palm of victory; while she strove to overcome the frailty of her sex, she overcame also the tyrant red with slaughter.” Cædes, slaughter, carnage, the blood shed in slaughter. The “twofold palm” is that of virginity and martyrdom. The word “martyr” means a witness, i.e., one who by his death bears witness to the truth of the Christian religion.
  3. “She feared neither death nor the accompaniments of death, the countless methods of torture; having shed her blood she merited to ascend to an untroubled heaven.” Amica mortis, things pertaining to, or accompanying death.
  4. “At her intercession, O gracious God, remit the punishment of our sins due to us, that with a pure heart we may raise aloft a sweet song to Thee.”
  5. “Glory be to the Father and to the incarnate Son, and to Thee, Holy Spirit, ever the co-equal power of both, One God. forever and ever.”