Non illam crucians
The agonizing hooks
This is a continuation of the preceding hymn.
Translation by Father Caswall.
- Non illam crucians ungula, non feræ,
Non virgæ horribili vulnere commovent;
Hinc lapsi e Superum sedibus Angeli
Cœlesti dape recreant.
- Quin et deposita sævitie leo
Se rictu placido projicit ad pedes:
Te Martina tamen dans gladius neci
Cœli cœtibus inserit.
- Te, thuris redolens ara vaporibus,
Quæ fumat, precibus jugiter invocate,
Et falsum perimens auspicium, tui
Delet nominis omine.
- A nobis abigas lubrica gaudia
Tu, qui Martyribus dexter ades, Deus
Une et trine: tuis da famulis jubar,
Quo clemens animos beas.
- The agonizing hooks, the rending scourge,
Shook no the dauntless spirit in her breast;
With torments racked, Angels her fainting flesh
Recruit with heavenly feast.
- In vain they cast her to the ravening beasts;
Calm at her feet the lion crouches down:
Till smitten by the sword at length she goes
To her immortal crown.
- Now with the Saints Martina reigns in bliss,
And where Idolatry sat throned of yore,
For her victorious altar praise and prayer
With odorous incense soar.
- Expel false worldly joys; and fill us, Lord,
With Thy irradiating beam divine;
Who with Thy suffering Martyrs present art,
Great Godhead one and thrine.
- “Neither the agonizing hook, nor wild beasts, nor the
rods with their painful wounds shake her constancy; thereupon
Angels descend from the abodes of the Blessed and
strengthen her with heavenly food.” Ungula, a claw-shaped
- “And even the lion, laying aside his savage nature,
with friendly gaping jaws lays himself down at her feet:
thee, at length, Martina, the sword delivers up to death
and enrolls thee among the hosts of heaven.” St. Martina
was beheaded in 228, in the persecution under Alexander
- “The altar which smokes, redolent with the odors of
incense, unceasingly invokes thee with prayers, and it destroys
and annihilates by the omen of thy name baneful
idol-worship.” Auspicium, divination by means of birds.
The word is here used in the sense of idolatry, heathen worship
in general. Omine: The “omen” alluded to is a reference
to the derivation of the Saint’s name Martina (the
warlike) from Mars, Martis, the god of war. The “warfare”
she waged was on the idols in the vicinity of Rome,
many of whose altars were overthrown by her prayers.
Copyright Benziger Brothers, 1922. Online Edition Copyright David M. Cheney, 2019.