About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two children.
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"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."
— His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI (7 July 2007)

Do You Know The Hymn Of Saint Casimir?
published 24 March 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

125 Saint Casimir of Poland HE FIRST THING to notice about the hymn below is its unique rhyme scheme. I’m horrible at poetry—so I won’t describe it in technical language—but if you read through the Latin lines, it should be obvious. Amazing, right? It’s not easy to create such a poem.

It was known as the “Prayer of Saint Casimir” because in 1604 it was found underneath St. Casimir’s incorrupt body when his grave was opened. However, it is only a small part of a much larger work attributed to St. Bernard (of Cluny or Clairvaux). We won’t discuss the full hymn—we don’t have space!

Saint Casimir’s hymn was translated—with matching rhyme scheme—into Italian, Spanish, French, Polish, Hungarian, and Greek. You can download this marvelous production (make sure to observe the clever way they write the date), which is formatted as follows:

123 Saint Casimir Hymn

Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman—legendary Archbishop of Westminster—heard about this and composed an English version, which fills an entire book.

But much is lost when a Latin hymn is forced into a rhyming metric scheme. Below is a literal translation, courtesy of Dr. Margaret Coats, alongside three attempts at “poetic” English. Those in blue letters strike me as particularly bad, in terms of being faithful to the original:

Original Latin:
1. Omni die
dic Mariae
Mea laudes anima:
Ejus festa,
ejus gesta
Cole devotissima.

2. Contemplare
et mirare
Ejus celsitudinem:
Dic felicem
Dic beatam Virginem.
Literal Translation:
1. Every day,
my soul,
speak praises to Mary;
Her feasts
and her feats
honor most devoutly.

2. Contemplate her
and admire
her exaltation;
Say, “Happy
say “Blessed Virgin.”
Fr. Henry Bittleston (1854):
1. Daily, daily,
sing to Mary,
Sing, my soul, her praises due;
All her feasts,
her actions worship,
With the heart’s devotion true.

2. Lost in wondering
Be her majesty confest;
Call her Mother,
call her Virgin,
Happy Mother, Virgin blest.
Original Latin:
3. Ipsam cole,
ut de mole
Criminum te liberet,
Hanc appella,
ne procella
Vitiorum superet.

4. Haec persona
nobis dona
Contulit coelestia;
Haec regina
nos divina
Illustravit gratia.
Literal Translation:
3. Honor her,
that she may free you
from your load of crimes;
Appeal to her,
lest a storm of vices
overcome you.

4. This person
has conferred on us
heavenly gifts;
This Queen
has illumined us
with divine grace.
Fr. Henry Bittleston (1854):
3. She is mighty
to deliver;
Call her, trust her lovingly;
When the tempest
rages round thee,
She will calm the troubled sea.

4. Gifts of heaven
she has given,
Noble Lady! to our race;
She, the Queen,
who decks her subjects
With the light of God’s own grace.
Original Latin:
5. Lingua mea,
dic trophaea
Virginis puerperae,
Quae inflictum
Miro transfert germine.

6. Sine fine
dic Reginae
Mundi laudum cantica,
Ejus bona
semper sona,
Semper illam praedica.
Literal Translation:
5. Tell, my tongue,
the triumphs
of the Virgin Mother,
Who by her wondrous
Seed takes away
the curse inflicted.

6. Endlessly sing
songs of praises to
the Queen of the world;
Speak always
of her good works;
preach always about her.
Fr. Henry Bittleston (1854):
5. Sing, my tongue,
the Virgin’s trophies,
Who for us her Maker bore;
For the curse
of old inflicted,
Peace and blessing to restore.

6. Sing in songs
of praise unending,
Sing the world’s majestic Queen;
Weary not,
nor faint in telling
All the gifts she gives to men.
Original Latin:
7. Omnes mei
sensus ei
Personate gloriam;
tam beatae
Virginis memoriam.

8. Nullus certe
tam disertae
Extat eloquentiae,
Qui condignos
promat hymnos
Ejus excellentiae.
Literal Translation:
7. All my senses,
give her
abundant glory;
Very often
bring the Blessed
Virgin to memory.

8. Surely, no one
stands out more
for flowing eloquence
Than he who utters
worthy hymns
of her excellence.
Fr. Henry Bittleston (1854):
7. All my senses,
heart, affections,
Strive to sound her glory forth,
Spread abroad
the sweet memorials
Of the Virgin’s priceless worth.

8. Where the voice
of music thrilling,
Where the tongue of eloquence,
That can utter
hymns beseeming
All her matchless excellence?
Original Latin:
9. Omnes laudent,
unde gaudent,
Matrem Dei Virginem;
Nullus fingat,
quod attingat
Ejus celsitudinem.

10. Sed necesse,
quod prodesse
Piis constat mentibus.
Ut intendam,
quo impendam
Me ipsius laudibus.
Literal Translation:
9. All men praise the
Virgin Mother of God,
in whom they rejoice;
Let no one claim
that he can attain
her exaltation,

10. Because to be
serviceable he must
stand firm in pious thoughts,
As I will strive to do,
wherefore I devote
myself to her praises.
Fr. Henry Bittleston (1854):
9. All our joys
do flow from Mary;
All, then, join her praise to sing;
Trembling sing
the Virgin Mother,
Mother of our Lord and King.

10. While we sing
her awful glory,
Far above our fancy’s reach,
Let our hearts
be quick to offer:
Love alone the heart can teach.
Original Latin:
11. Quamvis sciam,
quod Mariam
Nemo digne praedicet,
Tamen vanus
et insanus
Est, qui illam reticet.

12. Cujus vitae
Disciplina coelica,
et figmenta
Destruxit haeretica.
Literal Translation:
11. Although I know
that no one can worthily
preach about Mary,
Equally vain and
insane is he
who keeps silent about her

12. Whose life,
learned in
heavenly discipline,
Has destroyed
heretical arguments
and fantasies.
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
11. Though none
I know
To praise her meet,
’T would
madness be
Her not to greet.

12. With things
of Heav’n
Her learning fraught,
False dreams
of men
Hath put to nought
Original Latin:
13. Hujus mores
tanquam flores,
Exornant ecclesiam
et sermones
Miram praestant gratiam.

14. Evae crimen
nobis limen
Paradisi clauserat,
Haec dum credit
et oboedit,
Coeli claustra reserat.
Literal Translation:
13. Her ways
like flowers
adorn the Church;
Her words
and actions
furnish marvelous grace.

14. The crime of Eve
had closed the threshhold
of Paradise to us,
But when she believes
and obeys, she unlocks
the cloisters of Heaven.
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
13. Her life
the Church
Bedecks, like flowers;
Her words
and deeds
Are grace’s dow’rs.

14. Eve’s sin
to us
Closed Paradise;
To Mary’s
It open flies.
Original Latin:
15. Propter Evam
homo saevam
Accepit sententiam:
Per Mariam
habet viam,
Quae ducit ad patriam.

16. Haec amanda
et laudanda
Cunctis specialiter:
et precari
Illam decet jugiter.
Literal Translation:
15. Because of Eve,
man received
a harsh sentence;
Through Mary,
he has a way that
leads to the fatherland.

16. She in particular
ought to be loved
and praised by all;
It is fitting for her
to be venerated
and invoked continually.
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
15. Lost man,
by Eve,
Hath exile found:
Mary he
Is homeward bound.

16. The praise
of all
Her merit gains,
Their love obtains.
Original Latin:
17. Ipsa donet,
ut, quod monet
Natus ejus, faciam:
Ut finita
carnis vita,
Laetus hunc aspiciam.

18. O, cunctarum
Decus atque gloria!
Quam electam
et evectam
Scimus super omnia.
Literal Translation:
17. May she grant
that I do as
her Son admonishes,
So that when this
fleshly life is ended,
I may happily behold Him.

18. O beauty
and glory
of all women,
Whom we know to be
chosen and raised
above all things,
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
17. Her Son,
Through Her, may I
with joy
When’er I die!

18. O’er woman
Their glory, Thou!
How high
o’er all
We thee avow!
Original Latin:
19. Clemens audi,
tuae laudi
Quos instantes conspicis:
Munda reos,
et fac eos
Donis dignos coelicis.

20. Virga Jesse,
spes oppressae
Mentis et refugium;
Decus mundi,
lux profundi,
Domini sacrarium.
Literal Translation:
19. Mercifully hear
those whom you see
persisting in your praise;
Cleanse the guilty,
and make them
worthy of heavenly gifts.

20. Rod of Jesse,
hope and refuge
of the oppressed mind,
Beauty of the world,
light of the depths,
sacristy of the Lord,
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
19. Hear
And save from Hell,
Make meat
for grace
Who praise Thee well!

20. Hope of
th’ opprest!
Fair Jesse’s Rod!
Light of
the Deep!
The Shrine of God!
Original Latin:
21. Vitae forma,
morum norma,
Plenitudo gratiae:
Dei templum,
et exemplum
Totius justitiae.

22. Virgo salve,
per quam valvae
Coeli patent miseris:
Quam non flexit,
nec allexit
Fraus serpentis veteris.
Literal Translation:
21. Form of life,
norm of morals,
fullness of grace,
Temple of God
and pattern
of all justice,

22. Hail, Virgin through
whom the doors of Heaven
are open to the miserable,
Whom the fraud
of the old serpent
did not entice or bend,
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
21. Fulness
of grace,
Life’s Standard true,
Temple, and
Truth’s Pattern new!

22. Thou to
lorn souls
Dost Heav’n assure,
Nor bent
nor bought
By Serpent’s lure.
Original Latin:
23. Generosa
et formosa
David regis filia,
Quam elegit
Rex, qui regit
Et creavit omnia.

24. Gemma decens,
Rosa recens;
Castitatis lilium:
Castum chorum
ad polorum
Quae perducis gaudium.
Literal Translation:
23. Generous and
lovely daughter
of David the king,
Whom that King
chose, who rules and
has created everything.

24. Radiant gem,
fresh rose,
lily of chastity,
Who lead the
chaste choir to
the joy of the skies,
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
23. The King’s
fair choice,—
Hail, queenly Maid!—
Who made
all worlds,
By all obey’d.

24. Chaste
Pure budding Rose!
Chaste choirs
thou guid’st
To Heaven’s repose!
Original Latin:
25. Actionis
et sermonis
Facultatem tribue,
Ut tuorum
Laudes promam strenue.

26. Opto nimis,
ut imprimis
Des mihi memoriam,
Ut decenter
et frequenter
Tuam cantem gloriam.
Literal Translation:
25. Grant me
the power
in words and deeds
To vigorously
proclaim the praises
of your merits.

26. I wish very much
first of all that
you grant me memory,
That fittingly and
frequently I may
sing your glory;
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
25. Give me
the pow’r
Of hand and speech,
Thy merits
With might to preach!

26. But oh,
to me
First mem’ry grant
Oft, as
is meet,
Thy praise to chant!
Original Latin:
27. Quamvis muta
et polluta
Mea sciam labia:
nec silendum
Est de tua gratia.

28. Virgo gaude,
omni laude
Digna et praeconio:
Quae damnatis
Facta es occasio.
Literal Translation:
27. Although I know
that my lips are
mute and polluted,
This is no cause to be
silent about your grace,
or to take it for granted.

28. Rejoice, O Virgin
worthy of all praise
and commendation,
You have become
the occasion of liberty
for the damned.
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
27. Thou soil’d
and dumb
My lips I know,
Still I
must dare
Thy meed to shew.

28. Virgin,
Thus praised to be;
Cause to
the lost
Of liberty!
Original Latin:
29. Semper munda
et foecunda,
Virgo tu puerpera
Mater alma,
velut palma
Florens et fructifera.

30. Tuo flore
et decore
Recreari cupimus;
Cujus fructu
nos a luctu
Liberari credimus.
Literal Translation:
29. Always clean and
yet fertile, you are a
childbearing Virgin,
A nourishing Mother,
like the palm flowering
and bearing fruit.

30. We desire to be
recreated by
your flower and beauty,
In whose Fruit
we believe ourselves
to be freed from grief.
Canon F. Oakeley (1877):
29. O
O Mother pure!
Like fruitful
Aye to endure!

30. By Thee,
sweet Flow’r,
Refresh’d to be,
We trust,
whose Fruit
Hath set us free!
Original Latin:
31. Pulchra tota,
sine nota
Cujuscumque maculae
Fac nos mundos
et jucundos,
Te laudare sedule.

32. O beata,
per quam data
Nova mundo gaudia
Et aperta,
fide certa,
Regna sunt coelestia.
Literal Translation:
31. All beautiful,
with no sign of
any spot whatsoever,
Make us clean,
and happy to
praise you earnestly.

32. O blessed one, through
whom new joys were
given to the world,
And (faith is sure)
the heavenly
kingdoms opened,
Fr. Edward Caswall:
31. Holy Mary,
we implore thee
By thy purity divine;
Help us, bending
here before thee,
Help us truly to be thine.

32. Thou, unfolding
wide the portals
Of the kingdom in the skies,
Holy Virgin,
hast to mortals
Shown the land of paradise.
Original Latin:
33. Per te mundus
Novo fulget lumine,
Exutus caligine.

34. Nunc potentes
sunt egentes,
Sicut olim dixeras:
Et egeni
fiunt pleni,
Ut tu prophetaveras:
Literal Translation:
33. Through you
the world, full of joy,
shines with new light,
Divested of the
dark mist of
ancient shadows.

34. Now the needy
are powerful, as long
ago you had said,
And they have
become full, as you
had prophesied.
Fr. Edward Caswall:
33. Thou, when deepest
night infernal
Had for ages shrouded man,
Gavest us
that light eternal
Promised since the world began.

34. God in thee
hath showered plenty
On the hungry and the weak;
Sending back
the mighty empty,
Setting up on high the meek.
Original Latin:
35. Per te morum
nunc pravorum
Relinquuntur devia:
Pulsa sunt ludibria.

36. Mundi luxus
atque fluxus
Docuisti spernere:
Deum quaeri,
carnem teri,
Vitiis resistere.
Literal Translation:
35. Now through you the
deviations of depraved
morals are abandoned;
The mockeries of
perverse doctrines
have been struck down.

36. You have taught
how to spurn the lusts
and changes of the world,
How God is to be sought
and the flesh mortified,
and how to resist vices,
Fr. Edward Caswall:
35a Thine the province
to deliver
Souls that deep in bondage lie
Thine to crush,
and crush for ever,
Life-destroying heresy.

36. Teach, oh, teach us,
holy Mother,
How to conquer every sin,
How to love
and help each other,
How the prize of life to win.
Original Latin:
37. Mentis cursum
tendi sursum,
Pietatis studio,
Corpus angi,
motus frangi,
Pro coelesti praemio.

38. Tu portasti,
inter casti
Ventris claustra, Dominum
qui honorem
Nobis reddit pristinum.
Literal Translation:
37. How the thoughts
of the mind are to be
lifted by zeal for piety,
The body to be bound,
its impulses broken, for
the sake of heavenly reward.

38. You have carried,
within the cloisters
of your chaste womb,
The Lord and Redeemer
who restores pristine
honor to us.
Fr. Edward Caswall:
35b Thine to show
that earthly pleasures,
All the world’s enchanting bloom,
Are outrivall’d
by the treasures
Of the glorious world to come.

38. Thou to whom
a Child was given
Greater than the sons of men,
Coming down
from highest heaven
To create this world again.
Original Latin:
39. Mater facta,
sed intacta,
Genuisti Filium,
Regem regum,
atque rerum
Creatorem omnium.

40. Benedicta,
per quam victa
Hostis est versutia:
spe salutis
Datur indulgentia.
Literal Translation:
39. Having been made a
mother, though virgin intact,
you brought forth a Son,
The King of kings
and Creator
of all things.

40. Blessed one, through
whom the craftiness of the
Enemy has been conquered,
To those destitute
of hope for salvation,
forgiveness is granted.
Fr. Edward Caswall:
39. Oh, by that
Almighty Maker
Whom thyself a virgin bore;
Oh, by thy
supreme Creator,
Linked with thee for evermore;

40. By the hope
thy name inspires;
By our doom, revers’d through thee,
Help us, Queen
of angel-choirs,
To a blest eternity.
Original Latin:
41. Benedictus
Rex invictus,
Cujus Mater crederis:
ex te natus,
Nostri salus generis.

42. Reparatrix,
Desperantis animae!
A pressura,
quae ventura
Malis est, me redime.
Literal Translation:
41. The blessed unconquered
King, whose Mother
you were trusted to be,
Uncreated from you
has been born,
salvation of our race.

42. Repairer
and consoler
of the despairing soul,
From the distress
that will come to
evil ones, redeem me.
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
41. That King sought rest
Upon thy breast
To whom earth cries ‘Hosanna.’
The Uncreate
From thee took date
Our race’s healing manna!

42. The path who smoothest,
The pangs who soothest,
Of souls the most desparing!
Make woes that rush
The bad to crush,
Pass us, though sinners, sparing.
Original Latin:
43. Pro me pete,
ut quiete
Sempiterna perfruar;
Ne tormentis
Stagni miser obruar.

44. Quod requiro,
quod suspiro,
Mea sana vulnera,
Et da menti
te poscenti,
Gratiarum munera.
Literal Translation:
43. Ask for me
that I may quietly
enjoy eternal things
Lest, wretched, I be
overwhelmed in the
torments of the burning lake.

44. What I seek,
what I sigh for, is
that you heal my wounds
And give to my mind
(it is sincerely beseeching
you) gifts of graces:
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
43. So pray for me,
That I may be
The heir of peace eternal;
And never know
Of torture’s woe
In pool of flames infernal.

44. For this I cry,
For this I sigh,
Be thou my soul’s physician!
Thy gifts of grace,
Poured down apace,
Requite my soul’s petition!
Original Latin:
45. Ut sim castus,
et modestus,
Dulcis, blandus, sobrius,
Pius, rectus,
Simultatis nescius:

46. Eruditus
et munitus
Divinis eloquiis,
et ornatus
Sacris exercitiis.
Literal Translation:
45. That I be chaste,
modest, sweet,
mild, sober,
Pious, righteous,
ignorant of hostility,

46. Learned in
and fortified
with divine eloquence,
Devout and
adorned with
sacred exercises,
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
45. So make me bashful,
Chaste, meek, and watchful,
Sober, without asperity;
Upright and pious,
Ne’er to the bias
Yielding of insincerity.

46. God’s Word my store,
Whence virtue’s lore
Come like a shield well burnished!
While by His fear,
Alms, fasting, prayer,
My soul’s true gems be furnished!
Original Latin:
47. Constans, gravis,
atque suavis,
Benignus, amabilis:
Simplex, purus
et maturus,
Patiens et humilis:

48. Corde prudens,
ore studens
Veritatem dicere:
Malum nolens,
Deum colens
Pio semper opere.
Literal Translation:
47. Constant,
grave but suave,
kind, amiable,
Simple, pure
and mature,
patient and humble,

48. Prudent at heart,
zealous of tongue
to speak the truth,
Willing no evil,
worshipping God always
in pious works.
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
47. Be I grave, steady;
Be sweet, and ready
To show all loving-kindness;
Be simple, pure,
Resigned, mature,
And humble e’en to blindness.

48. Be prudent-hearted,
My lips have parted
As truth alone demandeth;
All evil shun,
The true path run,
By deeds which God commandeth.
Original Latin:
* Virgo sancta,
Cerne quanta
Perferamus jugiter
Et sustenta
Nos ut stemus fortiter.
Literal Translation:
* Holy Virgin,
consider how much
we must undergo continually
And sustain us in our
trials, that we
may stand strongly.
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
This verse
only appears
in the Solesmes
“Liber Usualis”
(French edition)
printed in 1896.
Original Latin:
49. Esto tutrix
et adjutrix
Christiani populi:
Pacem praesta,
ne molesta
Nos perturbent saeculi.

50. Salutaris
stella maris,
Summis digna laudibus,
Quae praecellis
cunctis stellis,
Atque luminaribus.
Literal Translation:
49. Be teacher
and helper
to the Christian people;
Grant peace,
lest the troubles of
the world disturb us.

50. Salvation’s star
of the sea, worthy
of highest praises,
Who surpass
all stars and
sources of light,
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
49. Do thou resist!
Do thou assist!
As Christian people need it;
When, from the wear
Of earthly care,
We ask for peace, oh, speed it!

50. No tongue can raise
Too high thy praise,
O saving star of ocean!
Pale by they light
Is planet bright,
Or meteor’s brilliant motion.
Original Latin:
51. Tua dulci
prece fulci
Supplices et refove:
Quidquid gravat
vel depravat
Mentes nostras, remove.

52. Virgo gaude,
quod de fraude
Daemonum nos liberas:
Dum in vera
et sincera
Carne Deum generas.
Literal Translation:
51. With your sweet
prayer support and
refresh your suppliants;
Remove whatever
oppresses and
depraves our minds.

52. Rejoice, Virgin,
that you are freeing us
from the demons’ fraud
As you bring forth
God in true
and real flesh.
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
51. Cherish, sustain,
The suppliant train
In thy sweet prayer confiding!
Whatever pains,
Whatever stains,
Prevent in us abiding!

Virgin, be glad,
Who from the bad
Arts of the Tempter freest;
As from thine own
Blood, flesh, and bone,
Incarnate, God thou seest.
Original Latin:
53. Illibata
et dotata
Coelesti progenie,
nec privata
Flore pudicitiae.

54. Nam quod eras,
Dum intacta generas:
Illum tractans,
atque lactans,
Per quem facta fueras.
Literal Translation:
53. You are undiminished
though endowed
with heavenly progeny;
With child, yet
not deprived of
the flower of purity.

54. What you were,
you remain, while
intact you give birth,
Caring for Him and
feeding Him through
whom you had been made.
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
53. Though Virgin bright,
Thou hast the right
Of richest claims maternal;
Though Mother true,
To thee is due
The virgin’s bloom eternal.

54. Of what thou wast
Nought from thee passed,
When Gabriel’s tongue addressed thee;
O’er Him thou bendest,
Him feedest, tendest,
Who with thine own life blessed thee.
Original Latin:
55. Commendare
me dignare
Christo, tuo Filio:
Ut non cadam,
sed evadam
De mundi naufragio.

56. Fac me mitem,
pelle litem,
Compesce lasciviam:
Contra crimen
da munimen,
Et mentis constantiam.
Literal Translation:
55. Deign to
commend me to
Christ your Son,
So that I may not
fall but escape the
shipwreck of the world.

56. Make me meek,
drive out contention,
restrain lust,
Against my crimes
give me protection
and constancy of mind.
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
55. Commending, bear
To Christ my prayer,
Thy Son beloved so purely;
That, from the world
In shipwreck whirled,
I reach the shore securely.

56. Oh, make me mild
And undefiled,
Avoiding strife and quarrel;
Constant and strong
To do no wrong,
Or yield to thought immoral.
Original Latin:
57. Non me liget,
nec fatiget
Saeculi cupiditas:
Quae indurat
et obscurat
Mentes sibi subditas.

58. Nunquam ira,
nunquam dira
Me vincat elatio:
Quae multorum
fit malorum
Frequenter occasio.
Literal Translation:
57. Let not worldly
desire bind
or fatigue me,
For it holds back
and darkens minds
subject to it.

58. Never, never
let dreadful pride
and anger conquer me,
For these frequently
become the occasion
of many evils.
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
57. That neither bound,
Nor bowed and ground,
I be by greed of riches;
Which hearts o’erthrown
Turns quite to stone,
Or blinding sore bewitches.

58. Of vengeful ire,
Deed, nor desire,
Permitted be to enthrall us;
Nor proud disdain,
Oft in whose train
A host of evils follows.
Original Latin:
59. Ora Deum,
ut cor meum
Sua servet gratia:
Nec antiquus
Seminet zizania.

60. Da levamen,
et juvamen
Tuum illis jugiter,
Tua festa,
tua gesta
Qui colunt alacriter.
Literal Translation:
59. Pray to God
that my heart may
preserve His grace,
Nor may the
ancient Enemy
sow tares in it.

60. Continually give
your consolation
and assistance to those
Who eagerly
honor your feasts
and your feats.
Cardinal Wiseman (1859):
59. Pray God to shield
My soul’s poor field,
Nor graces weigh, nor number;
For th’ ancient foe
His tares will sow,
If He, our Watchman, slumber.

60. Oh, grant relief
From toil and grief,
To all who perseveringly
Thy feasts observe,
Thy deeds preserve
In memory’s depths endearingly.


The Solesmes monks included a musical version, which (needless to say) omits many verses. Excerpts from the original poem by St. Bernard inspired many others, such as Athanasius Diedrich Wackerbarth and Fr. Thomas Isaac Ball. The translation notes by Dr. Margaret Coats are here. Canon F. Oakeley’s remarkable attempt can be downloaded, although the attribution to St. Casimir is wrong. (It was wrongly attributed for centuries.) All verses by the Oratorian priests, Fr. Edward Caswall and Fr. Henry Bittleston, are reproduced above.

Fr. George A. Watson also translated the Prayer of St. Casimir into hymn verses in 1881. You can DOWNLOAD his attempt, but for some reason you must fully download the file onto your hard drive to see the text.