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Catholic Dictionary




An allegorical love poem in the Bible that has several layers of meaning. Basically it expresses the special love of God for the Chosen People; prophetically the espousal of Christ with his church; universally the love of God for a devoted soul; by accommodation the delight of God with the soul of the Blessed Virgin. It was read in the Jewish liturgy on the octave of the Passover. Traditionally ascribed to Solomon, the imagery of the two lovers, united and then separated, sought and then found, reflects the changing relationships of God and his people, depending on their varying loyalty to him.