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Friday, May 08, 2009

From East to West: part one

O pure and immaculate and likewise blessed Virgin; who art the sinless Mother of thy Son, the mighty Lord of the universe; thou who art inviolate and altogether holy, the hope of the hopeless and sinful, we sing thy praises. We bless thee, as full of every grace, thou who didst bear the God-Man: we all bow low before thee; we invoke thee and implore thine aid. Rescue us, O holy and inviolate Virgin, from every necessity that presses upon us and from all the temptations of the devil. Be our intercessor and advocate at the hour of death and judgement; deliver us from the fire that is not extinguished and from the outer darkness; make us worthy of the glory of thy Son, O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother. Thou indeed art our only hope, most sure and sacred in God's sight, to whom be honour and glory, majesty and dominion, unto the ages of ages. Amen.
A Prayer of St Isaac the Syrian

Could this have been the inspiration for the Salve, Regina?

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 us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Salve, Regina - Anonymous

2 comments:

Mark said...

...but...but...but...I heard it was composed in the middle ages by Hermann of Reichenau!

Michael said...

It's attributed to about a million and one different people. :-)

Nobody's quite sure who actually penned it but I just wondered whether St Ephraim's much earlier prayer could have been the inspiration for it. There seems to be a fair bit of overlap.

It's like the Phos Hilaron. My service books attribute it to St Sophrony of Jerusalem (7th century) but a version of it actually appears in the Apostolic Constitutions.

:-)