Adoro te devote
"Adoro te devote" is a Eucharistic hymn written by Thomas Aquinas. "Adoro te devote" is one of the five Eucharistic hymns, which were composed and set to music for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, instituted in 1264 by Pope Urban IV as a Solemnity for the entire Roman Catholic Church.
Since the beginning of its composition and it being set to music, the "Adoro te devote" was chanted as an Eucharistic Hymn during the Saint Mass in honorem SS. Sacramenti (in honour of the Most Blessed Sacrament), as it was written in the Latin manuscripts. So it was also chanted for the Eucharistic adoration.
Strictly speaking, Aquinas seems to have used it also as a private prayer, for a daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The "Adoro te devote" is one of the medieval poetic compositions, being used as spoken prayers and also as chanted hymns, which were preserved in the Missale Romanum published in 1570 following the Council of Trent (1545–1563).
Text and literal translation
|Latin text||literal English translation|
There are two variant readings of the Latin text, with slightly different nuances to some of the words: "most of the variations occur in the first two verses. The substitution of the words "posset omni scélere" in place of "quit ab omni scélere" in the second-to-last verse and "cupio" for "sitio" in the closing one are practically the only other changes". This does not affect the overall meaning of the lines or stanzas so that "either variant may be legitimately used according to local custom."
Poetic English translations
There have been at least 16 significant English translations of the Adoro te devote, reflecting its popularity as a prayer and hymn. The following is one recently inspired translation.
- I devoutly adore You, masquerading Deity
- Veiled beneath all appearance
- My whole heart submits to You
- And in contemplating You, surrenders without reservation
- Sight, touch, and taste are all deceived in approaching You
- But hearing suffices to firmly believe
- I trust all that the Son of God has spoken
- There is nothing truer than the word of Truth
- On the cross divinity was hidden from view
- But here humanity was revealed
- Yet believing and confessing both
- I ask for what the penitent thief asked
- Thy wounds, as Thomas saw, I do not see
- But I confess that You are my God
- Make me believe much more in You
- In the hope of Your Love
- O memorial of Christ
- Living Bread that gives life to man
- Take my spirit into Your hand
- Forevermore to savor Your sweetness
- Lord Jesus; Good Pelican
- Wash my filthiness and cleanse me with Your blood
- One drop of which can free
- The entire world of all its sins
- Precious Jesus; veiled from sight
- I ask You to fulfill what I so earnestly desire,
- That the sight of Your face be unveiled
- That I may have the joy of seeing Your glory
Additional translations, with their opening line, are as follows:
This Eucharistic hymn was generally chanted with a genuflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament, which is Jesus Christ God, the Lord and the Saviour, the Saint King, King of Israel and King of Kings.
Until the first half of the nineteenth century, the (Eucharistic) chant Adoro Te devote was often used to be followed by this second Thanksgiving prayer, referred to Jesus Christ God:
- Obsecro Te, sancte Domine Jesu
- Christe, ut passio tua sit mihi virtus
- qua muniar atque defendar,
- vulnera tua sit mihi cibus potusque
- quibus pascar, inebrier atque delecter;
- aspersio sanguinis tui sit mihi ablutio
- omnium delictorum meorum;
- resurrectio tua sit mihi gloria
- sempiterna. In his sit mihi refectio,
- exultatio sanitas et dulcedo
- cordis mei. Qui vivis et regnas in
- unitate Patri et Spiritus Sancti Deus
- per omnia saecula saeculorum.
- Christopher Howse, 'Not a hymn but a personal poem,'. The Telegraph. 17 Jan 2015. retrieved 5 Nov 2015.
- Schola Cantorum Mediolanensis. Video with music sheet with Latin text and trigram notation. youtube (in Latin). Mikan. Retrieved 2 August 2018., at the points: 1:10, 2:00, 3:46 minutes
- E. McNamara (23 May 2010). "The Adoro te Devote and more on blue vestments". zenit.org. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
- Catholic Encyclopedia 1917, "Adoro te devote". retrieved 5 Nov 2015
- Giuseppe Riva, Manuale di Filotea, Milano, 1860, pag. 213
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
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