Panis angelicus is the penultimate strophe of the hymn "Sacris solemniis" written by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi as part of a complete liturgy of the Feast including prayers for the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.
The strophe of "Sacris solemniis" that begins with the words "Panis angelicus" (bread of angels) has often been set to music separately from the rest of the hymn. Most famously, in 1872 César Franck set this strophe for voice (tenor), harp, cello, and organ, and incorporated it into his Messe à trois voix, Op. 12.
The phenomenon whereby the strophe of "Sacris solemniis" that begins with the words "Panis angelicus" is often treated as a separate hymn has also occurred with other hymns that Thomas Aquinas wrote for Corpus Christi: "Verbum supernum prodiens" (the last two strophes begin with "O salutaris Hostia") and "Pange lingua gloriosi" (the last two strophes begin with "Tantum ergo", in which case the word "ergo" ["therefore"] makes evident that this part is the continuation of a longer hymn).
Renditions of the setting by Franck 
The 1932 performance of Franck's work by John McCormack in Dublin's Phoenix Park became the highlight of his career. Noteworthy renditions have also been performed by tenors Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Francisco Araiza, Richard Crooks, and Roberto Alagna, as well as by the sopranos Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Renata Scotto. This work was performed by Richard Tucker at the funeral mass of United States Senator and Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy on June 8, 1968, as well as by Placido Domingo and Yo-Yo Ma at the funeral mass for his brother Senator Edward Kennedy on August 29, 2009, televised nationally in the USA.
Text of "Panis angelicus", with doxology 
The angelic bread
- Sacris Solemniis in the Catholic Encyclopedia discusses the merits of a number of translations.
- full text of "Sacris Solemniis", with an English translation
- Gregorian Chants
- Free scores for various settings of Panis angelicus in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)