26 November 2023

A clutch of Marian Hymns

 There is are features in the Votive Office of the Miraculous Medal which I find intriguing.

The rubrics indicated that, unless otherwise ordered, the Office should be the same as that of the Votive Office of the Immaculate Conception ... about which I wrote quite recently. That Office is what you will find in your Breviary, if you use a twentieth century edition. Here is the first stanza of the Mattins hymn.

Praeclara custos Virginum,/ Intacta Mater Numinis,/ Caelestis aulae ianua,/ Spes nostra, caeli gaudium.//

This is recorded as having been composed in the seventeenth century by an unknown author, for the feast of the Purity of Mary, which used to be observed on the Third Sunday in October (these Sunday, October, Votives of our Lady are something else I wrote about recenly).

But there is another similar hymn, composed for the Office of our Lady of Lourdes, said to have been written by Pope Leo XIII himself in 1891. It has the line Intacta Mater Numinis ... one presumes that the Admirable Pontiff enjoyed the sound and rhythm! The 1960s 'reformers' ... you know what I'm going to say ... disliked it so much that they cut it out!.

However, in the hymn provided for the Votive Office of the Immaculate Conception, we find this stanza: Tutela praesens omnium,/ Salveto Mater Numinis;/ Intacta in Hevae filiis, /Tu foeda mundes pectora.//

The style of this stanza resembles closely the style of the hymn said to have been composed by Leo XIII. I have wondered who might be its author.

Another interesting feature: its 'doxology' is not really a doxology at all. "Jesu, tuam qui finiens/ Matrem dedisti servulis,/ Precante Matre, filiis/ Largire coeli gaudia. Amen." 

What should one make of this bold break with Tradition?


Banshee said...

Tutela Praesens Omnium is from this book:


The authors are Marco Antonio Flaminio, Giovanni Antonio Flaminio, and Gabriel Flaminio, if I am reading the author page correctly.

Banshee said...

Oh, crumbs, I was wrong. That is a hymn to Jesus, and the other words are totally different. Sorry.

Banshee said...

Okay... Apparently a lot of people use the phrase "tutela praesens omnium" for Jesus or Mary, because Horace used it in Carmen IV.14.43 for a Roman general (tutela praesens Italiae). Which is pretty funny, I will admit.

I will keep looking.

Banshee said...

I forgot to say that the Flaminio hymn (which seems to be everywhere) is "Tutela praesens omnium/Qui mente pura te colunt". It even got translated into German by a guy named Balthasar Schnurr.

So since it seems to have been popular at some point, I wonder if the tune wasn't reused for the Miraculous Medal hymn.

Moritz Gruber said...

Reverend Father,

do you, by any chance, know where to find the propers (to be more precise, the "otherwise ordered", the difference to the Votive Office of the Immaculate Conception for Saturdays) online?

Marc in Eugene said...

A well-informed gentleman kindly pointed out to me the 1906 edition of the Breviarium Romanum at Archive.org that contains the proper of the feast. It begins at the pdf page? 348 (of 556).


Moritz Gruber said...

Dear Marc in Eugene,

thank you very much!