Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hymn to Saint Philomena

Translated and adapted from one to St. Catherine; #77 in the Oxford Anthology of Medieval Latin Verse

Daughter of a Grecian king
Now your household to you sing
Veneration, impetration
That your prayers for us may bring,
Us, sin-laden,
O pure maiden,
To the joys of heaven's King.

Sprung of noble stock and bright
With the virtues' heavenly might
Soon you said that you would wed
None but Christ, the King of Light.
O pure virgin
Make us burgeon
Soon in Heaven's joy and light.

Even in your tenderest years
You desired heaven's spheres
More than treasures or earth's pleasures
Eyes on heaven, despising fears.
Maiden, heed us
Martyr, lead us
Upward from this vale of tears.

Catholic faith in you withstood
Lashes' sting and waters' flood
Stood unbending, prayer upsending
Staunch in faith though shedding blood.
Martyr, heed us
Maiden, lead us
To enjoy the perfect Good.

Then the lictor's sharpened spear
After days of torments drear
Crowned your ending, all wounds mending
With the sight of Christ, your dear.
O pure maiden
Lead us to eternal cheer.