Our Morning Offering – 2 February – The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin. Candlemas
O Gloriosa Virginum By St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)
O Glorious Virgin, ever blest, Sublime above the starry sky, Who nurture from thy spotless breast To thy Creator didst supply.
What we had lost through hapless Eve, The Blossom sprung from these restores, And, granting bliss to souls that grieve, Unbars the everlasting doors.
O Gate, through which hath passed the King. O Hall, whence Light shone through the gloom; The ransomed nations, praise and sing Life given from the Virgin womb.
All honour, laud and glory be, O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee; All glory, as is ever meet, To Father and to Paraclete. Amen
O Gloriosa Domina is the second half of the hymn: Quem Terra, Pontus, Aethera. It was composed by St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) the Bishop of Poitiers. In 1632, in accordance with revisions made to the hymns of the Divine Office by Pope Urban VIII (1568-1644), it was altered and changed to O Gloriósa Vírginum. It is sung in the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Roman Breviary. It is said that St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) was always singing this hymn. His mother sang it to him as a baby,and even on his death bed after receiving Extreme Unction, he intoned the hymn.
Our Morning Offering – 11 February – The Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes
Queen on Whose Starry Brow Doth Rest St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530-c 609) Translation by Monsignor Ronald A Knox (1888 – 1957)
Queen, on whose starry brow doth rest The crown of perfect maidenhood, The God who made thee, from thy brest Drew, for our sakes, His earthly food.
The grace that sinful Eve denied, With thy Child-bearing, reppears; Heaven’s lingering door, set open wide, Welcomes the children of her tears.
Fate, for such royal progress meet, Beacon, whose rays such light can give, Look, how the ransomed nations greet The virgin-womb that bade them live!
O Jesus, whom the Vrgin bore, Be praise and glory unto Thee. Praise to the Father evermore And His life-givine Spirit be. Amen!
Saint Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) Bishop, Poet, Hymnist, Writer – born c 530 at Rreviso, Italy and died c 609 at Poitiers, modern France of natural causes. St Venantius was unique, first a travelling lay poet, he later became a Priest and then a Bishop. But he always remained a professional author of poetry, a “troubadour” of Christ. He is the author of the Ave Maris Stella, amongst many others.