Angelus ad Virginem

Angelus ad Virginem

Angelus ad Virginem is a medieval Christmas song that remains popular today. The text of the song is essentially a poetic enhancement of the Hail Mary. It has been found in several different English hymn books from the 14th century and is believed to have been of Irish Franciscan origin.

Latin Lyrics:

Angelus ad Virginem,
Subintrans in conclave.
Virginis formidinem,
Demulcens inquit: “Ave,
Ave Regina Virginum,
Coeliteraeque Dominum,
Concipies et paries intacta,
Salutem hominum.
Tu porta Coeli facta,
Medella criminum.”

“Quomodo conciperem,
Quae virum non cognovi?
Qualiter infringerem,
Quae firma mente vovi?”
“Spiritus Sancti gratia,
Perficiet haec omnia.
Ne timeas, sed gaudeas, secura,
Quod castimonia,
Manebit in te pura,
Dei potentia.”

Ad haec Virgo nobilis,
Respondens inquit ei:
“Ancilla sum humilis,
Omnipotentis Dei.
Tibi coelesti nuntio,
Tanta secreti conscio,
Consentiens et cupiens videre,
Factum quod audio.
Parata sum parere,
Dei consilio.”

Angelus disparuit,
Etstatim puellaris,
Uterus intumuit,
Vi partus salutaris.
Qui, circumdatus utero,
Novem mensium numero.
Hinc exiit et iniit conflictum,
Affigens humero,
Crucem, qua dedit ictum,
Hosti mortifero.

Eia, Mater Domini,
Quae pacem reddidisti,
Angelis et homini,
Cum Christum genuisti.
Tuum exora Filium,
Ut se nobis propitium,
Exhibeat, et deleat peccata,
Praestans auxilium,
Vita frui beata,
Post hoc exsilium.

Translation:

The angel appeared to the Virgin,
While entering into her chamber.
He calmed her fear,
When he said to her: “Hail,
Hail, Queen of Virgins.
The Lord of Heaven and Earth,
You will conceive and give birth unharmed,
Bringing the salvation of mankind.
You will be the Door of Heaven,
The remedy for all crimes.”

“How can I conceive,
Since I do not know man?
How can I break,
What I have firmely vowed?”
“The grace of the Holy Spirit
Will accomplish all this.
Do not fear but rejoice securely,
Because chastity,
Will remain undefiled in you,
Through the power of God.”

To this the noble Virgin,
Responding said to him:
“I am the humble slave,
Of Almighty God.
By your heavenly announcement,
I became aware of so many secrets,
I give my consent and want to see,
Accomplished what I heard.
I am ready to obey,
God’s will.”

The angel disappeared,
And at once the Maiden,
Conceived in her womb,
The fruit of salvation.
In her womb He lied enclosed,
For nine months.
From it He came forth entering the battle,
He fastened His shoulders,
On the cross, which gave the blow,
Fatal to the enemy.

Rejoice, Mother of the Lord,
Who has restored peace,
To angels and men,
When you bore Christ.
Exhort your Son,
That He be propitious to us,
Let Him wash away our sins,
Giving us help,
To enjoy the blissful life,
After this exile.

Saint Sabinus and his Companions

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Saint Sabinus and his Companions

Bishop of Spoleto and Martyrs
(† 303)

When the cruel edicts of Diocletian and Maximin Hercules were published against the Christians in the year 303, it required more than ordinary force in the bishops and clergy, to encourage the people to undergo martyrdom rather than apostatize. All were forbidden even to draw water or grind wheat, if they would not first incense idols placed for that purpose in the markets and on street corners.

Saint Sabinus, Bishop of Spoleto, with Marcellus and Exuperantius, his deacons, and several other members of his clergy who were worthy of their sacred mandate, were apprehended in Assisi for revolt and thrown into prison by Venustianus, Governor of Etruria and Umbria. He summoned them before him a few days later and required that they adore his idol of Jupiter, richly adorned with gold. The holy bishop took up the idol and threw it down, breaking it in pieces. The prefect, furious, had his hands cut off and his deacons tortured on the rack and burnt with torches until they expired.

Saint Sabinus was put back into prison for a time. He was aided there by a Christian widow of rank, who brought her blind nephew to him there to be cured. Fifteen prisoners who witnessed this splendid miracle were converted to the Faith. The prefect left the bishop in peace for a month, because he himself was suffering from a painful eye ailment. He heard of the miracle and came to the bishop in prison with his wife and two sons, to ask him for help in his affliction. Saint Sabinus answered that if Venustianus would believe in Jesus Christ and be baptized with his wife and children, he would obtain that grace for him. The officer consented, they were baptized, and he threw into the river the pieces of his broken statue. Soon all the new converts gave their lives for having confessed the Gospel, sentenced by Lucius, whom Maximus Hercules sent to Spoleto after hearing of their decision, to judge and condemn them.

As for Saint Sabinus, he was beaten so cruelly that on December 7, 303, he expired under the blows. The charitable widow, Serena, after seeing to his honorable burial near the city, was also crowned with martyrdom. A basilica was later built at the site of the bishop’s tomb, and a number of monasteries in Italy were consecrated under his illustrious name.

Reflection: How powerfully do the martyrs cry out to us by their example, exhorting us to detach from a false and wicked world!

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14