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Catholic Prayer: O Glory of the Polish Race


This hymn was taken from The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal by Rev. Matthew Britt, O.S.B. It was written in the 18th century, the author is unknown. It was tranlated by Monsignor Henry. There are five translations. It was used as a Vespers hymn. There is a short biography of John Cantius, St. (1412-1473), in the Catholic Encyclopedia.


O GLORY of the Polish race, O splendor of the priestly band, Whose lore did thy Lyceum grace, John, father of the fatherland.

The Law of the supernal Will Thou teachest both in word and deed; Knowledge is naught-we must fulfill In works, not barren words, our creed!

On foot to Apostolic Rome Thy pilgrim spirit joyful hied; Oh, to our everlasting home The path declare, the footstep guide!

Again, in Sion's holy street, Anew thou wet'st with tearful flood The pathway of the Saviour's feet Erst wet with His redeeming Blood.

O sweet and bitter Wounds of Christ, Deep in our hearts imprinted stay, That the blest fruit the sacrificed Redeemer gained, be ours for aye!

Then let the world obeisance due Perform, O God, to Thy high Will; And let our souls, by grace made new, Sing to Thee a new canticle!

Other translations:

1. "Illustrious John, the glory of the Polish race, and the noble ornament of the priesthood, the glory of thy University and the father of thy country!" Lyccei: the University of Cracow in which St. John was a professor of theology. A brief history of the University is given at the end of the article on Cracow, in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

2. "As teacher thou dost both teach and observe the Law of the Heavenly Divinity: to know availeth not; we must diligently strive to fulfil the Law." 3. "A traveler on foot thou dost visit the tombs of the Apostles : to our true country which we seek, direct thou our steps and our way." Limen, a threshold; Limina Apostolorum, an ecclesiastical term meaning a pilgrimage to the sepulchers of SS. Peter and Paul in Rome. St. Peter rests in the great church bearing his name, and St. Paul in the Basilica of St. Paul "outside the walls." Pedes, itis, adj., on foot. Pedes viator, a pilgrim. St. John made four pilgrimages to Rome on foot. He also made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

4. "Thou dost visit the city of Jerusalem, and dost venerate the footprints marked with the Sacred Blood of Christ, and thou dost bedew them with abundant tears."

5. "O bitter Wounds of Christ, be ye deeply implanted in our hearts, that we may be ever mindful to seek earnestly the reward of our redemption."

6. "O loving Trinity, may the whole fabric of the universe prostrate adore Thee, and we, renewed by Thy grace, would sing Thee a new song of praise."

Prayer Source: Hymns of the Breviary and Missal by Matthew Britt, Benziger Brothers, 1922
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