Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Regis superni nuntia

God’s messenger, Theresa

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Regis superni nuntia,
    Domum paternam deseris,
    Terris Teresa barbaris
    Christum datura, aut sanguinem.
  2. Sed te manet suavior
    Mors, pœna poscit dulcior:
    Divini amoris cuspide
    In vulnus icta concides.
  3. O caritatis victima!
    Tu corda nostra concrema,
    Tibique gentes creditas
    Averni ab igne libera.
  4. Sit laus Patri cum Filio
    Et Spiritu Paraclito,
    Tibique sancta Trinitas,
    Nunc, et per omne sæculum.
  1. God’s messenger, Theresa,
    Thou leav’st thy father’s home
    To bring mankind to Jesus
    Or gain sweet martyrdom.
  2. But milder death awaits thee,
    And fonder pains are thine,
    God’s blessed Angel wounds thee
    With fire of love divine.
  3. Sweet virgin, love’s pure victim,
    So fire our souls with love,
    And lead thy trusting people
    Safe to the realms above.
  4. Give glory to the Father,
    The Spirit and the Son,
    One Trinity, one Godhead,
    While endless ages run.
Author: Pope Urban VIII (1568-1644). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by D. J. Donahoe. There are four translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Vespers and Matins. St. Teresa (1515-1582) was an illustrious member of the Carmelite Order. A brief account of her wonderful life is given in the Cath. Encycl., and a more extended biography in Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Note the spelling: Teresa, Teresia, Theresa.
  1. “As a herald of the heavenly King, thou dost leave, O Teresa, thy father’s house to give to barbarous lands either Christ or thy blood.” As a mere child, Teresa and her little brother actually set out for the country of the Moors, with the hope of dying for their faith. Much to their disappointment they were intercepted by an uncle and restored to their distracted mother.
  2. “But a sweeter death awaits thee, a more delightful pain claims thee: pierced even unto being wounded by a shaft of divine love, thou dost fall.” This stanza refers to the Transverberation of the Saint’s heart. In her autobiography she tells us that an Angel appeared to her, and—“He had in his hand a long golden dart, and at the end of the point me thought there was a little fire; and I conceived that he thrust it several times through my heart and after such a manner that it passed through my very bowels; and when he drew it out, methought it pulled them out with it, and left me wholly inflamed with a great love of God” (Butler’s Lives). Her body is still preserved incorrupt at Alba in Spain, and “her heart, too, showing the marks of the Transverberation is exposed there for the veneration of the faithful” (Cath. Encycl.). There is an Office and Mass in honor of the Transverberatio Cordis 8. Teresiæ (Aug. 27).
  3. “O victim of love, inflame our hearts, and deliver from the fires of hell the nations entrusted to thee.”