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O Gloriosa Domina

Gregorian Hymn to Our Lady

O Gloriosa Domina (O Glorious Lady) is the famous Marian hymn sung at Lauds on Feasts of Our Lady in the Roman Breviary. It forms the second part of the hymn Quem terra, pontus, aethera written by Venantius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers.

Below is a translation of an excerpt from the famous Año Virgineo, published in Spanish in 1716, which tells the story of a priest who was saved from trouble by this hymn:

"In Madrid, the year 1573 saw the [death] of Ven. Father Fray Ananio de Segura, of the most exemplary Order of the Discalced Friars Minor, first Guardian of the Convent [Monastery] of Madrid. He was most devoted to the Great Queen, and for this the Devil hated him very much: For he is the Dragon with seven heads, who vomits poison, against which St. John in the Apocalypse saw Our Lady adorned with Stars. And he still hurls this [poison] at the children whom Our Lady is giving to the Church.

"One day, [the Devil] took on the form of a horrendous and bloody boar, which with its bare fangs threatened to tear him to pieces. The Holy Guardian [Fray Ananio] became frightened and called on the Merciful Virgin, telling her: 'My Lady and Mother, drive this beast away from me!" On his knees, he began the Hymn that says O Gloriosa Domina, excelsa super sidera: O Glorious Lady, whose dominion is elevated above the Stars; and upon hearing these voices, the demon fled.

"The demon appeared to him again some days later, making grimaces at him and telling him: 'Thank the Gloriosa Domina, [because] if it were not for her, I would take my revenge on you.' Fray Ananio immediately intoned the Gloriosa Domina, as one who already knows the remedy for his affliction, with which on this and other occasions he was freed from the infernal beast." (1)

It is also a well known fact that O Gloriosa Domina was the favorite hymn of St. Anthony, who learned it from his mother as a child. He would sing this hymn so often that the Jesuit Fr. Manuel de Azevedo wrote: "It could be said that he had this hymn on his lips at every breath." (2) St. Anthony also sung this hymn on his deathbed: after receiving the Sacrament of Confession: "Like a swan approaching death, he began to sing the hymn, which he was accustomed to pray many times against the demons." (3)

We provide two interpretations of O Gloriosa Domina: The first is the standard version interpreted by the Schola of the Hofburgkapelle. The second is another version sung by the men of the TFP at the time when Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, eminent Catholic layman & founder, was still alive and directing the Group in the fulfillment of its mission to fight the Revolution in the Church and Society (more on that here and here).

Listen to O Gloriosa Domina by Schola of the Hofburgkapelle

Listen to O Gloriosa Domina by men of the TFP


Latin text:

O gloriosa Domina
Excelsa super sidera,
Qui te creavit provide,
Lactasti sacro ubere.

Quod Eva tristis abstulit,
Tu reddis almo germine;
Intrent ut astra flebiles,
Caeli fenestra facta es.

Tu regis alti janua
Et porta lucis fulgida;
Vitam datam per Virginem,
Gentes redemptae, plaudite.

Gloria tibi, Domine,
Qui natus es de Virgine,
Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu
In sempiterna saecula. Amen.

English translation (4):

O Heaven's glorious mistress,
Elevated above the stars,
Him who created thee
Thou feedest with thy sacred breast.

What miserable Eve lost
Thy dear offspring to man restores,
They enter like weeping stars
Thou hast become Window of Heaven.

Thou art the door of the High King,
The gate of shining light.
Life is given through a Virgin:
Rejoice, ye redeemed nations.

Glory be to Thee, O Lord,
Born of a Virgin,
With the Father and the Holy Spirit,
World without end. Amen.

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O Gloriosa Domina


For a high-resolution JPG version, click here.

For a PDF version, click here.

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Mosaic of Our Lady holding the Christ Child, in the apse of the Hagia Sophia.

Photo by Myrabella, taken from Wikimedia.

  1. Taken from Año virgineo: cuyos dias son finezas de la Gran Reyna del Cielo Maria Santissima Virgen, by Esteban Dolz del Castellar, published 1716. Translation by TIA, p. 112 (66), here.
  2. Taken from Vida del taumaturgo portugues San Antonio de Padua, written by Fr. Manuel de Azevedo S. J., published 1790. Translation by TIA, p. 382, here.
  3. Ibid., p. 139.
  4. Translation adapted from Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL), here.
  5. Sheet music from GregoBase, here.


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