The Word of God
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.