REGINA CÆLI LÆTARI
From Eastertide from Holy Saturday until Trinity Sunday
instead of the praying the Angelus
Anthem to the Blessed Virgin
There is a venerable tradition connected with this joyous Anthem. It is related that a fearful pestilence raged in Rome, during one of the Easters of the pontificate of St. Gregory the Great. In order to propitiate the anger of God, the holy Pope prescribed a public procession of both people and clergy, in which was to be carried the portrait of our Blessed Lady painted by St. Luke. The procession was advancing in the direction of Saint Peter’s; and as the holy Picture, followed by the Pontiff, was carried along, the atmosphere became pure and free from pestilence. Having reached the bridge which joins the City with the Vatican, a choir of Angels was heard singing above the Picture, and saying: “Rejoice, O Queen of heaven, alleluia! for He whom thou deservedst to bear, alleluia! hath risen, as He said, alleluia!” As soon as the heavenly music ceased, the saintly Pontiff took courage, and added these words to those of the Angels: “Pray to God for us, alleluia!” Thus was composed the Paschal Anthem to our Lady. Raising his eyes to heaven, Gregory saw the destroying Angel standing on the top of the Mole of Hadrian, and sheathing his sword. In memory of this apparition, the Mole was called the Castle of Saint Angela, and on the dome was placed an immense statue representing an Angel holding his sword in the scabbard.
Regina cæli, lætare, Alleluia.
Qua quem meruisti portare, Alleluia.
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, Alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia.
V. Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia.
R. Qua surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia.
Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri, Jesu Christi, mundum lætificare dignatus es, præsta, quæsumus, ut per ejus Genitricem Virginem Mariam perpetuæcapiamus gaudia vitæ: per eumdem Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen
(The Sovereign Pontiff Benedict XIII, by a brief, Injuntæ nobis, Set. 14, 1724, amended by the Sacred Penitentiary Apostolic, Feb. 20, 1933, granted a plenary indulgence, once a month, to all the faithful who, everyday in the morning, at noon, and in the evening at sunset, shall say devoutly the Angelus Dominie, with the Hail Mary, three times, or at Eastertide the Regina Caeli, on any day when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall pray for peace and union among Christian princes, for the extirpation of heresy, and for the triumph of Holy Mother Church; also an indulgence of ten years, on all the other days in the year, ever time that they shall devoutly say these prayers.)