Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Non illam crucians

The agonizing hooks

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Non illam crucians ungula, non feræ,
    Non virgæ horribili vulnere commovent;
    Hinc lapsi e Superum sedibus Angeli
    Cœlesti dape recreant.
  2. Quin et deposita sævitie leo
    Se rictu placido projicit ad pedes:
    Te Martina tamen dans gladius neci
    Cœli cœtibus inserit.
  3. Te, thuris redolens ara vaporibus,
    Quæ fumat, precibus jugiter invocate,
    Et falsum perimens auspicium, tui
    Delet nominis omine.
  4. A nobis abigas lubrica gaudia
    Tu, qui Martyribus dexter ades, Deus
    Une et trine: tuis da famulis jubar,
    Quo clemens animos beas.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
This is a continuation of the preceding hymn. Translation by Father Caswall.
  1. “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 torturing hook.
  2. “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 Severus.
  3. “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.