Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Magnæ Deus potentiæ

O Sovereign Lord of Nature’s might

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Magnæ Deus potentiæ,
    Qui fertili natos aqua
    Partim relinquish gurgiti,
    Partim levas in aera.
  2. Demersa lymphis imprimens,
    Subvecta cœlis erigens:
    Ut stirpe ab una prodita,
    Diversa repleant loca:
  3. Largire cunctis servulis,
    Quos mundat unda sanguinis,
    Nescire lapsus criminum,
    Nee ferre mortis tædium.
  4. Ut culpa nullum deprimat:
    Nullum efferat jactantia:
    Elisa mens ne concidat:
    Elata mens ne corruat.
  5. Præsta, Pater piissime,
    Patrique compar Unice,
    Cum Spiritu Paraclito
    Regnans per omne sæculum.
  1. O Sovereign Lord of Nature’s might,
    Who bad’st the water’s birth divide;
    Part in the heavens to take their flight,
    And part in ocean’s deep to hide;
  2. These low obscured, on airy wing
    Exalted those, that either race,
    Though from one element they spring,
    Might serve Thee in a different place.
  3. Grant, Lord, that we Thy servants all,
    Saved by Thy tide of cleansing Blood,
    No more ‘neath sin’s dominion fall,
    Nor fear the thought of death’s dark flood!
  4. Thy varied love each spirit bless,
    The humble cheer, the high control;
    Check in each heart its proud excess,
    But raise the meek and contrite soul!
  5. This boon, O Father, we entreat,
    This blessing grant, Eternal Son,
    And Holy Ghost, the Paraclete,
    Both now, and while the ages run.
Author: Probably by Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by W. J. Courthope. There are fourteen translations. Theme: The work of the fifth day—the creation of the birds and fishes, both of which sprang from a common source, viz., water. The work of the fifth day is recorded in Genesis 1, 20-23: Dixit etiam Deus: Producant aquæ reptile animæ viventis, et volatile super terram sub firmamento cœli. Creavitque Deus cete grandia, et omnem animam viventem atque motabilem, quam produxerant aquæ in species suas, et omne volatile secundum genus suum. Et vidit Deus quod esset bonum. Benedixitque eis, dicens: Crescite et multiplicamini, et replete aquas maris; avesque multiplicentur super terram. Et factum est vespere et mane dies quintus.
  1. “O God of great power, who dost assign in part the offsprings of the fertile water, to the deep, and in part dost raise them aloft in the air;” Fertili: The water is called fruitful since it is the common source from which the natos —the birds and fishes—sprang. Natos (ex). Gurgiti, lit., a whirlpool; the sea, the waters.
  2. “Thou dost consign the fishes to the waters, and liftest up the birds on high, that animals proceeding from the same source might occupy different places.” Supply animalia after demersa, subvecta, and prodita. Demersa, all living creatures that make their home in the waters. Subvecta (from subveho, to bring up from below), the Birds—brought up from the waters and assigned to the air.
  3. “Grant to all Thy servants, whom the stream of Thy blood hath cleansed, to know not sinful falls, nor suffer the loathsomeness of spiritual death.” Largire, imper. of largior. Unda sanguinis: This is by some taken as equivalent to unda et sanguis. It would then contain a reference to the blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of Our Lord (cf. John 19, 34).
  4. “Let guilt depress no one; let pride exalt no one, lest the despondent soul be disheartened, and the proud soul be ruined.”