O salutaris hostia

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"O Salutaris Hostia" (Latin, "O Saving Victim" or "O Saving Sacrifice"), is a section of one of the Eucharistic hymns written by St Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi. He wrote it for the Hour of Lauds in the Divine Office. It is actually the last two stanzas of the hymn Verbum supernum prodiens , and is used for the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The other two hymns written by Aquinas for the Feast contain the famous sections Panis angelicus and Tantum ergo.



Latin textLiteral TranslationVerse Rendering
O salutaris Hostia,
Quae caeli pandis ostium:
Bella premunt hostilia,
Da robur, fer auxilium.
Uni trinoque Domino
Sit sempiterna gloria,
Qui vitam sine termino
Nobis donet in patria.
O saving Victim,
Who expandest the door of heaven,
Hostile armies press,
Give strength; bear aid.
To the One and Triune Lord,
May there be everlasting glory;
who life without end
gives us in the homeland.
O saving Victim, opening wide
The gate of Heaven to man below;
Our foes press hard on every side;
Thine aid supply; thy strength bestow.
To thy great name be endless praise,
Immortal Godhead, One in Three.
Oh, grant us endless length of days,
In our true native land with thee.

Local usage

As a liturgical text, the hymn is usually sung in Latin. There are however some cases in which it is found sung in the vernacular.

In Notre Dame, Paris, France a middle stanza is inserted, localising the text:

Latin TextLiteral Translation
O vere digna Hostia,
Spes unica fidelium:
In te confidit Francia;
Da pacem, serva lilium. [1]
O truly worthy Victim,
Only hope of the faithful :
in Thee trusts France;
Give peace, conserve the lily.

A verse rendering of the song is used during the Wednesday Novena Service to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baclaran Church, Parañaque, Philippines. Rev. Teofilo Vinteres, C.Ss.R and Alfredo Buenavista are credited with the music and the arrangement, respectively, and both also produced a Filipino translation, Handóg na Tagapágligtás ("Sacrificial Saviour"):

Filipino TextLiteral Translation
Handóg na Tagapágligtás
Langit sa amin nagbukás;
Pagkalooban ang Iyong angkán
Ng pananggól sa kasamaán.

Ang isang Diyos ay purihin.
Tatlóng Persona ay sambahin;
Ang buhay namin ay palawigin
Hanggáng sa buhay na dárating.
Amen. [2]
Sacrificial Saviour,
[Whom] Heaven to us has opened;
Unto Thy clan bestow
Defence against evil.

The One God be praised.
The Three Persons, adored;
Our lives be lengthened
Until the world to come.

Musical settings

Marc-Antoine Charpentier, six settings, "O saluraris Hostia" H.236 (1670), H.262 (1690), H.261 (1690), H.36 (1690), H.248 (1679-80), and H.249 (1681). Gioachino Rossini inserted the hymn as a movement in his Petite messe solennelle . Both stanzas are retained in Arthur Honegger's 1939 setting for mezzo-soprano and piano, whereas only the first one is included in Vytautas Miškinis' setting for mixed choir a cappella, O salutaris hostia, in 1991.

The first stanza is also inserted as part of the Sanctus of Robert Schumann's Mass in C minor, Op. posth. 147 (1852–3).

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  1. Bennett, L.P.; Royal Musical Association (2009). Sacred Repertories in Paris Under Louis XIII: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS Vma Rés. 571. Ashgate. p. 129. ISBN   9780754668213 . Retrieved 2014-12-15.
  2. "Oocities.com" (in English and Tagalog). 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2017.