21 September, 2004

Præclára qua tu glória

Today, the 21st of September 2004, is the feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. The hymn touches on several aspects of the Saint's life, drawing an illuminating contrast between the coins to which he clung before Christ's call, and the wealth he gained afterwards.

Præclára qua tu glória,
Levi beáte, cíngeris,
laus est Dei cleméntiæ,
spes nostra ad indulgéntiam.
Blessed Levi, the splendid glory
by which you are surrounded,
gives God praise for his clemency,
gives us hope for his leniency.
Telóneo quando ássidens
nummis inhæres ánxius,
Matthæe, Christus ádvocans
opes tibi quas præparat!
O Matthew, while you sit near a toll-booth,
clinging anxiously to trifles,
Christ is calling you
to the wealth he prepares!
Iam cordis ardens ímpetu
curris, Magístrum súscipis,
sermóne factus ínclito
princeps in urbe cælica.
Now burning with a sudden burst of heart,
you hasten to acknowledge your Teacher,
who makes you a prince of the heavenly city
with a celebrated call.
Tu verba vitæ cólligens
Davídque facta Fílii,
per scripta linquis áurea
cæléste mundo pábulum.
Gathering the words of life
spoken by the Son of David,
you forsake through golden writings
the world's nourishment for that of heaven.
Christum per orbem núntians
conféssus atque sánguine,
dilectiónis vívidæ
suprémo honóras pígnore.
You have also witnessed with blood,
announcing Christ to the world;
you honor him with the supreme assurance
of true devotion.
O martyr atque apóstole,
evangelísta nóbilis,
tecum fac omne in sæculum
Christo canámus glóriam. Amen.
O noble evangelist,
martyr and apostle,
help us sing glory to Christ
with you in eternity. Amen.

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