Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Pater superni luminis

Father of lights

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Pater superni luminis,
    Cum Magdalenam respicis,
    Flammas amoris excitas,
    Geluque solvis pectoris.
  2. Amore currit saucia
    Pedes beatos ungere,
    Lavare fletu, tergere
    Comis, et ore lambere.
  3. Adstare non timet Cruci,
    Sepulchro inhæret anxia:
    Truces nec horret milites,
    Pellit timorem caritas.
  4. O vera, Christe, caritas,
    Tu nostra purga crimina,
    Tu corda reple gratia,
    Tu redde cœli præmia.
  5. Patri, simulque Filio,
    Tibique sancta Spiritus,
    Sicut fuit, sit jugiter
    Sæclum per omne Gloria.
  1. Father of lights! one glance of Thine,
    Whose eyes the universe control,
    Fills Magdalene with holy love,
    And melts the ice within her soul.
  2. Her precious ointment forth she brings
    Upon those sacred feet to pour;
    She washes them with burning tears,
    And with her hair she wipes them o’er.
  3. Impassioned, to the Cross she clings,
    Nor fears beside the tomb to stay;
    Nor dreads the soldiers’ savage mien,
    For love has cast all fear away.
  4. O Christ, Thou very Love itself!
    Blest hope of man, through Thee forgiven!
    So touch our spirits from above,
    So purify our souls for heaven.
  5. To God, the Father, and the Son,
    And Holy Paraclete, with Thee,
    As evermore hath been before,
    Be glory through eternity.
Author: Cardinal Bellarmine, S.J. (1542-1621). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Father Caswall. There are nine translations. Liturgical Use: Vespers hymn. Read the article on Mary Magdalen in the Cath. Encycl. Note the two spellings—Magdalene, Magdalen.
  1. “Source of heavenly Light, when Thou lookest upon Magdalene, Thou dost excite in her the flames of love, and dispellest the icy coldness of her heart.” Pater superni luminis = Christus. Christ by His suffering and death is the source of all grace (luminis).
  2. “Wounded with love, she runs to anoint those sacred feet, to wash them with her tears, to wipe them with her hair, and to kiss them with her mouth.” Saucia, wounded, smitten. Et stans retro secus pedes ejus, lacrymis cœpit rigare pedes ejus, et capillis capitis sui tergebat, et osculabatur pedes ejus, et unguento ungebat (Luke 7, 38).
  3. “She does not fear to stand beside the Cross; in distress she remains near the sepulcher; she does not dread the savage soldiery; love banishes fear.” Adstare cruci, Cf. John 19, 25. Sepulchro inhæret, Cf. Matt. 27, 61. Nec horret, Cf. John 20,1.
  4. “O Christ, true Love, wash Thou away our sins, fill our hearts with grace, and bestow upon us the rewards of heaven.” Christe, vera caritas: Deus caritas est: et qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo (I John 4, 16).
  5. “To the Father, and at the same time to the Son and to Thee, Holy Spirit, as has been, so be it forever, eternal glory.”