Anima Christi

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The Anima Christi is a medieval prayer to Jesus in the tradition of the Catholic Church.

The sequence of sentences in Anima Christi have rich associations with Catholic concepts that relate to the Holy Eucharist (Body and Blood of Christ), Baptism (water) and the Passion of Jesus (Holy Wounds).[1]

Jean-Baptiste Lully composed a Motet called Anima Christi, and musicians such as Giovanni Valentini performed it.

As it was once mistakenly attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, who included it in his "Spiritual Exercises," it is sometimes referred to as the "Aspirations of St. Ignatius Loyola."

Prayer text[edit]

Latin text Poetic English translation
Anima Christi, sanctifica me.
Corpus Christi, salva me.
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.
Aqua lateris Christi, lava me.
Passio Christi, conforta me.
O bone Jesu, exaudi me.
Intra tua vulnera absconde me.
Ne permittas me separari a te.
Ab hoste maligno defende me.
In hora mortis meae voca me.
Et iube me venire ad te,
Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te,
In saecula saeculorum.
Amen
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Separated from Thee let me never be ("Permit me not to be separated from Thee")
From the malicious enemy defend me ("From the malignant enemy defend me")
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints ("That with thy Saints I may praise Thee")
Forever and ever
Amen
Translation by Cardinal John Henry Newman
Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water of Christ's side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesus, listen to me;
In Thy wounds I fain would hide;
Ne'er to be parted from Thy side;
Guard me, should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy saints to sing Thy love,
World without end.
Amen.

History[edit]

This well known Catholic prayer dates to the early fourteenth century and was possibly written by Pope John XXII, but its authorship remains uncertain. The prayer takes its name from its first two words in Latin. Anima Christi means "the soul of Christ." The Anima Christi was popularly believed to have been composed by St. Ignatius Loyola, as he puts it at the beginning of his "Spiritual Exercises" and often refers to it. This is a mistake, as has been pointed out by many writers, since the prayer has been found in a number of prayer books printed during Ignatius' youth and is in manuscripts which were written a hundred years before his birth (1491). James Mearns, the English hymnologist, found it in a manuscript of the British Museum which dates back to about 1370. In the library of Avignon there is preserved a prayer book of Cardinal Peter De Luxembourg, who died in 1387, which contains the Anima Christi in practically the same form as we have it today. It has also been found inscribed on one of the gates of the Alcazar of Seville, which brings us back to the times of Don Pedro the Cruel (1350-69) This prayer was so well known and so popular at the time of St. Ignatius, that in the first edition of his "Spiritual Exercises" he merely mentions it, evidently supposing that the exercitant or reader already knew it. In the later editions, it was printed in full. It was by assuming that everything in the book was written by St. Ignatius that it came to be looked upon as his composition.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Anima Christi at Catholic prayers [1]

Source[edit]