Angelus ad Virginem

On this seventh day of the month of Our Lady, I am posting a medieval poem in Mary’s honor which is titled, Angelus ad Virginem. This delightful ode to our Queen dates to the thirteenth century; and is notable for the fact that its authorship is unknown. The Angelus ad Virginem is based on the prayer, the Hail Mary; and I think you will enjoy reading it today.

The Angelus ad Virginem:

Gabriel, from heaven’s king
Sent to the maiden sweet,
Brought to her blissful tiding
And fair ‘gan her to greet.
‘Hail be thou, full of grace aright!
For so God’s Son, the heaven’s light,
Loves man, that He
a man will be
and take
Flesh of thee, maiden bright,
Mankind free for to make
Of sin and devil’s might.’

Gently to him gave answer
The gentle maiden then:
‘And in what wise should I bear
Child, that know not man?’
The angel said: ‘O dread thee nought.
‘Tis through the Holy Ghost that wrought
Shall be this thing
whereof tidings
I bring:
Lost mankind shall be bought
By thy sweet childbearing,
And back from sorrow brought.’

When the maiden understood
And the angel’s words had heard,
Mildly, of her own mild mood,
The angel she answered:
‘Our Lord His handmaiden, I wis,
I am, that here above us is:
And touching me
fulfilled be
thy saw;
That I, since His will is,
Be, out of nature’s law
A maid with mother’s bliss.’

The angel went away thereon
And parted from her sight
And straightway she conceived a Son
Through th’ Holy Ghost His might.
In her was Christ contained anon,
True God, true man, in flesh and bone;
Born of her too
When time was due;
who then
Redeemed us for His own,
And bought us out of pain,
And died for us t’atone.

Filled full of charity,
Thou matchless maiden-mother,
Pray for us to him that He
For thy love above other,
Away our sin and guilt should take,
And clean of every stain us make
And heaven’s bliss,
when our time is
to die,
Would give us for thy sake;
With grace to serve him by
Till He us to him take. Amen.  (translated from the Latin by Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, source)

This beautiful tribute to Our Lady may be heard in song, here.

Hail Mary, the air we breathe!

May you have a good day.


~Image: relief of the Annunciation, Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary in Orvieto, Italy.