Contents
Verbum Supernum
The Word of God
Hymni

Verbum Supernum was written by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) in honor of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at the specific request of Pope Urban IV (1261-1264) when the Pope established the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264. It is used as a hymn at Lauds on Corpus Christi. The last two stanzas are used for the hymn O Salutaris Hostia (O Saving Victim).

VERBUM supernum prodiens,
nec Patris linquens dexteram,
ad opus suum exiens,
venit ad vitae vesperam.
THE heavenly Word proceeding forth,
yet not leaving the Father's side,
went forth upon His work on earth
and reached at length life's eventide.
In mortem a discipulo
suis tradendus aemulis,
prius in vitae ferculo
se tradidit discipulis.
By false disciple to be given
to foemen for His Blood athirst,
Himself, the living Bread from heaven,
He gave to His disciples first.
Quibus sub bina specie
carnem dedit et sanguinem;
ut duplicis substantiae
totum cibaret hominem.
To them He gave, in twofold kind,
His very Flesh, His very Blood:
of twofold substance man is made,
and He of man would be the Food.
Se nascens dedit socium,
convescens in edulium,
se moriens in pretium,
se regnans dat in praemium.
By birth our fellowman was He,
our Food while seated at the board;
He died, our ransomer to be;
He ever reigns, our great reward.
O salutaris hostia,
quae caeli pandis ostium,
bella premunt hostilia;
da robur, fer auxilium.
O saving Victim, opening wide
the gate of heaven to all below:
our foes press on from every side;
Thine aid supply, Thy strength bestow.
Uni trinoque Domino
sit sempiterna gloria:
qui vitam sine termino
nobis donet in patria. Amen.
To Thy great Name be endless praise,
immortal Godhead, One in Three!
O grant us endless length of days
in our true native land with Thee. Amen.

From the Liturgia Horarum. Translation by Neale, Caswall, and others.



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