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Adoro te devote, latens Deitas

Hidden God, devoutly I adore Thee

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
    Quæ sub his figuris vere latitas;
    Tib se cor meum totum subjicit,
    Quia te contemplans totum deficit.
  2. Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
    Sed auditu solo, tuto creditur:
    Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius:
    Nil hoc verbo veritatis verius.
  3. In cruce latebat sola Deitas;
    At hic latet simul et humnitas:
    Ambo tamen credens, atque confitens,
    Peto quod petivit latro pœnitens.
  4. Plagas sicut Thomas, non intueor,
    Deum tamen meum te confiteor:
    Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
    In te spem habere, te diligere.
  5. O memoriale mortis Domini,
    Panis vivus vitam præstans homini,
    Præsta meæ menti de te vivere,
    Et te illi semper dulce sapere.
  6. Pie pellicane Jesu Domine,
    Me immundum munda tuo sanguine,
    Cujus una stilla salvum facere
    Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.
  7. Jesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
    Oro fiat illud quod tam sitio,
    Ut te revelata cernens facie
    Visu sim beatus tuæ gloræ?
  1. Hidden God, devoutly I adore Thee,
    Truly present underneath these veils:
    All my heart subdues itself before Thee,
    Since it all before Thee faints and fails.
  2. Not to sight, or taste, or touch be credit,
    Hearing only do we trust secure;
    I believe, for God the Son has said it—
    Word of Truth that ever shall endure.
  3. On the Cross was veiled Thy Godhead's splendor,
    Here Thy Manhood lieth hidden too;
    Unto both alike my faith I render,
    And, as sued the contrite thief, I sue.
  4. Though I look not on Thy wounds with Thomas,
    Thee, my Lord, and Thee, my God, I call:
    Make me more and more believe Thy promise,
    Hope in Thee, and love Thee over all.
  5. O Memorial of My Savior dying,
    Living Bread, that givest life to man;
    May my soul, its life from Thee supplying,
    Taste Thy sweetness, as on earth it can.
  6. Deign, O Jesus, Pelican of heaven,
    Me, a sinner, in Thy Blood to lave,
    To a single drop of which is given
    All the world from all its sin to save.
  7. Contemplating, Lord, Thy hidden presence,
    Grant me what I thirst for and implore,
    In the revelation of Thy essence
    To behold Thy glory evermore.
See “Preliminary Observations” above. Meter: Trochaic trimeter catalectic. The first line has a syllable of anacrusis, i.e., an upward beat before beginning the regular meter. Translation by Justice John O’Hagan. There are about twenty-five translations. The Adoro Te Devote is found in the “Thanksgiving after Mass” in the front part of the Missal. A part of it is frequently sung in Benediction. It is an excellent example of rhymed prayer expressed in the simplest language.
  1. “I devoutly adore Thee, O hidden Deity, who truly liest hidden under these figures. My whole heart subjects itself to Thee, for it finds itself wholly lost in contemplating Thee.”
  2. “Sight, touch, and taste are each deceived in Thee, but by hearing only can we safely believe: I believe whatever the Son of God hath said; nothing can be more true than this word of Him who is the Truth.” Veritas: Ego sum via, et veritas, et vita (John 14, 6). Christ is the source and fountain of all truth.
  3. “On the Cross was hidden Thy Divinity alone, but here Thy Humanity also lies concealed; nevertheless believing and confessing both, I pray for what the penitent thief did pray.” Petivit latro pœnitens: Et dicebat ad Jesum: Domine, memento mei, cum veneris in regnum tuum (Luke 23, 42).
  4. “Thy Wounds, I do not see, as Thomas did, yet do I confess Thee to be my God: make me ever more and more believe in Thee, put my hope in Thee, and love Thee.” Plagas sicut Thomas: (cf. John 20, 27-28).
  5. “O Memorial of the Lord’s death, O Living Bread that givest life to man: grant to my soul ever to live on Thee, and that Thou mayest ever taste sweet to it.” Illi (sc. Menti).
  6. “O loving Pelican, Jesus Lord, cleanse me, unclean, in Thy Blood, one drop of which hath power to save the whole world from all its sin.” Pie pelicane: The pelican is a symbol of Christ and of charity. There is a legend that when food fails, the pelican feeds her young with her own blood. When she is thus represented in Christian art, she is said to be “in her piety,” i.e., standing over her nest with her wings extended, and wounding her breast from which fall drops of blood.
  7. “O Jesus, Thou whom veiled I now behold, I beseech Thee that what I so thirst for may happen: that beholding Thee with Thy countenance unveiled, I may be happy in the vision of Thy glory.” See the articles on Beatific Vision, and on Heaven, esp. Part III, in the Cath. Encycl.