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Te dicimus præconio

O Virgin Mother of our God

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Te dicimus præconio,
    Intacta Mater Numinis,
    Nostris benigna laudibus
    Tuam repende gratiam.
  2. Sontes Adami posted
    Infecta proles gignimur;
    Labis paternæ nescia
    Tu sola, Virgo, crederis.
  3. Caput draconis invidi
    Tu conteris vestigio,
    Et sola gloriam refers
    Intaminatæ originis.
  4. O gentis humanæ decus
    Quæ tollis Hevæ opprobrium,
    Tu nos tuere supplices,
    Tu nos labantes erige.
  5. Serpentis antique potens
    Astus retunde et impetus,
    Ut cœlitum perennibus
    Per te fruamur gaudiis.
  6. Jesu, tibi si gloria
    Qui natus es de Virgine,
    Cum Patre, et almo Spititu
    In sempiternal sæcula.
  1. O Virgin Mother of our God,
    While we thy matchles glories chant,
    Do thou, in answer to our praise,
    To us abundant graces grant.
  2. We Adam’s guilty children are,
    A sin-infected progeny,
    Thou art, O Virgin, we believe,
    Alone from his infection free.
  3. The envious dragon’s cruel head
    Thou with thy heel dost trample down,
    And of a stainless origin
    Thou only dost the glory own.
  4. O Flower of the human race,
    Who takest Eve’s reproach away,
    Protect us when we cry to thee,
    Our tottering footsteps deign to stay.
  5. From the old serpent’s wiles and force,
    Thy clients mightily defend,
    That, through thy mercy, they may win
    Those heavenly joys which never end.
  6. Jesus, to Thee be glory given,
    Whom erst the Virgin-Mother bore,
    With Father and with Holy Ghost,
    Through endless ages evermore.
Author: Unknown. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Archbishop Bagshawe; there are no other translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Matins on the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate at Lourdes.

This Feast was authorized by Pope Leo XIII, and was extended to the entire Church by Pope Pius X, in 1907. The Office with its three proper hymns appeared only recently in the Breviary.

The hymns are translated by Archbishop Bagshawe, in his Breviary Hymns and Missal Sequences. With the exception of the hymn for Matins they are also translated by the Benedictines of Stanbrook, in their The Day Hours of the Church.

To understand many allusions in these hymns, the article on Lourdes, in the Cath. Encycl. should be consulted. This is especially true of the hymn Omnis expertem.

  1. “We praise thee with jubilation, O stainless Mother of God; for our praises, graciously bestow upon us thy favor.”
  2. “We guilty descendants of Adam are brought forth a sin-infected people; thou alone, O Virgin, we believe art free from our first father's infection.” Crederis, passive, thou art believed. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX, Dec. 8, 1854. Read the article on Immaculate Conception, in the Cath. Encycl.
  3. “Thou dost crush with thy heel the head of the envious dragon, and dost alone preserve the glory of a stainless origin.” Vestigio: lit., a footprint; that part of the foot which makes a print—the sole. It is here used in the sense of calcaneum, the heel. Ipsa conteret caput tuum, et tu insidiaberis calcaneo ejus (Gen. 3, 15).
  4. “O thou, the glory of the human race, who takest away the reproach of Eve, protect thy suppliants, and encourage us who waver.”
  5. “Do thou mightily frustrate the cunning and the assaults of the old serpent, and through thee may we enjoy the everlasting joys of heaven.”