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Ave verum Corpus natum

Hail, true Body, truly born

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Ave verum Corpus natum
    De Maria Virgine,
    Vere passum, immolatum
           In cruce pro homine,
    Cujus latus perforatum
           Unda fluxit et sanguine,
    Esto nobis prægustatum
           Mortis in examine.
    O clemens, O pie,
           O dulcis Jesu, Fili Mariæ.
  1. Hail, true Body, truly born
    Of the Virgin Mary mild,
    Truly offered, racked and torn,
    On the Cross, for man defiled,
    From whose love-pierced, sacred side
    Flowed Thy true Blood’s saving tide:
    Be a foretaste sweet to me
    In my death’s great agony,
    O Thou loving, gentle One,
    Sweetest Jesus, Mary’s Son.
Author: Probably by Pope Innocent VI (d. 1362). Meter: Trochaic tetrameter catalectic. Translation by Father Edward F. Garesché, S.J. There are about ten translations. This beautiful little hymn was formerly sung at the Elevation of the Host in Mass. It is not found in the Breviary or Missal. The Latin texts differ slightly.
  1. “Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary, which truly suffered and was immolated on the Cross for man; whose pierced side streamed with Water and with Blood. Be Thou to us a foretaste (of heaven) when we are in the agony of death. O clement, O loving, O sweet Jesus, Son of Mary.”