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Catholic Activity: Marian Hymn: Mary the Dawn


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Marian hymn used in the Breviary for the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The author of the text has often been labeled as Unknown, possibly from the Middle Ages. The tune was adapted from Psalm Tone, Mode IV by Justin Mulcahy, C.P. under the pseudonym Paul Cross. But sometimes Justin Mulcahy is given credit for the text, also.

Some versions have two small changes: "Mary the rose tree, Christ the Rose blood-red" and "Both ever bless’d while endless ages run". The hymn originally appeared in the St. Pius X Hymnal in 1953, and repeated in later hymnals, including the in-print Adoremus Hymnal. There is also a beautiful SSA arrangement by Leo Nestor.


1. Mary the dawn, Christ the Perfect Day; Mary the gate, Christ the Heavenly Way!

2. Mary the root, Christ the Mystic Vine; Mary the grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!

3. Mary the wheat, Christ the Living Bread; Mary the stem, Christ the Rose blood-red!

4. Mary the font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the cup, Christ the Saving Blood!

5. Mary the temple, Christ the temple’s Lord;
Mary the shrine, Christ the God adored!

6. Mary the beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!

7. Mary the mother, Christ the mother’s Son
By all things blest while endless ages run. Amen.

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