Saturday, November 26, 2005

A Hymn in Latin

Jesus refulsit omnium
Pius redemptor gentium
Totum genus fidelium
Laudes genus dramatum

Quem stella natum fulgida
Monstrat micans per authera
Magosque duxit praevia
Ipsius ad cunabula

Illi cadentes parvulum
Pannis adorant obsitum
Verum fatentur ut Deum
Munus freundo mysticum.

---(Jesus, light of all the nations), by Saint Hilary of Poitiers (368 AD)

*Sorry, no translation available. Nor tune, except for the Chant linked above.
Here is a 14th century tune of another of St. Hilary's hymns. This is the oldest known Advent/Christmas carol. It probably was written around 320 AD (or CE, depending on your political correctness.) St. Hilary began to write hymns as a polemic against heresies, knowing that words set to music would have much more entry into the common man's psyche.

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