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Summi Parentis Unice

Son of the Highest

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Summi Parentis Unice,
    Vultu pio nos respice,
    Vocans ad arcem gloriæ
    Cor Magdalenæ pœnitens.
  2. Amissa drachma regio
    Recondita est ærario,
    Et gemma, deterso luto,
    Nitore vincit sidera.
  3. Jesu, medela vulnerum,
    Spes una pœnitentium,
    Per Magdalenæ lacrymas
    Peccata nostra diluas.
  4. Dei Parens piissima,
    Hevæ nepotes flebiles
    De mille vitæ fluctibus
    Salutis in portum vehas.
  5. Uni Deo sit gloria,
    Pro multiformi gratia,
    Peccantium qui criminal
    Remittit, et dat præmia.
  1. Son of the Highest, deign to cast
    On us a pitying eye;
    Thou, who repentant Magdalene
    Didst call to endless joy.
  2. Again the royal treasury
    Receives its long-lost coin;
    The gem is found, and, cleansed from mire,
    Doth all the stars outshine.
  3. O Jesus, balm of every wound!
    The sinner’s only stay!
    Wash Thou in Magdalene’s pure tears
    Our guilty spots away.
  4. Mother of God! the sons of Eve
    Weeping thine aid implore:
    Oh, land us from the storms of life
    Safe on th’ eternal shore.
  5. Glory, for graces manifold,
    To the one only Lord;
    Whose mercy doth our souls forgive,
    Whose bounty doth reward.
Author: St. Odo of Cluny (879-942). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Father Caswall. There are seven translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Lauds on the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. First line of Original Text: Æterni Patris Unice.
  1. “O Thou Only-Begotten of the sovereign Father, look upon us with a benign countenance, Thou who callest to the pinnacle of glory the penitent heart of Magdalene.”
  2. “The lost groat is again restored to the royal treasury; and the gem wiped clean from mire surpasses the stars in brilliance.” For the Parable of the Lost Coin see Luke 15, 8-9. The drachma was a small coin bearing the image of the reigning king. It here represents the human soul on which is impressed the image and likeness of God. The “gem” referred to is the human soul purified by penance and so adorned with sanctifying grace that it outshines the stars in splendor.
  3. “O Jesus, balm of our wounds, and sole hope of the penitent, mayest Thou, through the tears of Magdalene, wash away our sins.”
  4. “O most gracious Mother of God, convey us weeping descendants of Eve, from a thousand waves of life to a haven of safety.” Fluctibus, storms, afflictions.
  5. “To God alone be glory for His manifold graces,—to God who forgiveth the sins of sinners and bestoweth rewards.”