Blessed Herman the Disabled

Today, on an Ember day* in September, the Roman Catholic Church commemorates the life of Blessed Herman the Disabled (b. 1013- d. 1054).  Blessed Herman was a physically disabled Benedictine monk who was noted for intellectual work which demonstrated a rare genius coupled with religious devotion. Blessed Herman is the author of the beloved Marian prayer the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen). To this day, the Salve Regina is recited innumerable times a day as it is the concluding prayer of the Holy Rosary, and is a prayer found in the Divine Office. The following is a chanted version sung by the Beatus Choral Ensemble:

The words of the Salve Regina are:

Salve Regina,
Mater Misericordiae
Vita dulcedo
et spes nostra salve
Ad te clamamus,
exsules filii Hevae
Ad te suspiramus,
gementes et flentes
In hac lacrimarum valle
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui
Nobis post hoc exsilium ostende
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis, Virgo Maria (source)


Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy.
Hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
To thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us.
And after this our exile show unto us
the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. (source)

It is remarkable, to say the least, that a Marian prayer written by a physically frail Benedictine monk in the eleventh century continues to be recited thousands and thousands times a day in the twenty-first century. Such is the longevity of the Church; and such is her love for the Blessed Virgin Mary who is, as stated by Blessed Herman, our life, our sweetness, and our hope!

May you have a good day.


~Image: Blessed Herman the Disabled, source.

*more information on the 2020 Ember days: here.