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Opes decusque regium reliqueras

Riches and regal throne, for Christ’s dear sake

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
8 July

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Opes decusque regium reliqueras
    Elisabeth, Dei dicata numini:
    Recepta nunc bearis inter Angelos;
    Libens ab hostium tuere nos dolis.
  2. Præi, viamque dux salutis indica:
    Sequemur: O sit una mens fidelium,
    Odor bonus sit omnis actio, tuis
    Id innuit rosis operta caritas.
  3. Beata caritas, in arce siderum
    Potens locare nos per omne sæculum:
    Patrique Filioque summa gloria,
    Tibique laus perennis alme Spiritus.
  1. Riches and regal throne, for Christ’s dear sake,
    True Saint, thou didst despise;
    Amid the Angels seated now in bliss,
    Oh, help us from the skies!
  2. Guide us; and fill our days with perfume sweet
    Of loving word and deed;
    So teaches us thy beauteous charity,
    By fragrant roses hid.
  3. O charity! what power is thine! by thee
    Above the stars we soar;
    In thee be purest praise to Father, Son
    And Spirit, evermore.
Author: Pope Urban VIII (1568-1644). Meter: Iambic trimeter. Translation by Father Caswall. There are three translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Lauds on the Feast of St. Elizabeth.
  1. “Wealth and royal splendor, Elizabeth, thou didst forsake, and thou didst devote thyself to the will of God: now received among the Angels thou art blessed; graciously protect us from the deceits of the enemy.”
  2. “Go thou before, and as a guide point out the way of salvation; we will follow: O may there be but one mind among the faithful, may every action be a good odor! The charity concealed by thy roses betokens this.” St. Elizabeth was very charitable to the poor, and like a true Saint she always endeavored to conceal her charitable deeds from the eyes of men. The Breviary thus records the miracle of the roses referred to in this stanza: “In the depth of winter she changed the money she was going to distribute to the poor into roses to conceal it from the king.” Almsdeeds and the prayers of the faithful are odors of sweetness, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God (Philip. 4, 18; Apoc. 5, 8).
  3. “O blessed charity which hath power to establish us forever in the stronghold of the stars! To Father and to Son be infinite glory, and to Thee, O Holy Spirit, be endless praise.”