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Salve Mater Misericordiae

Carmelite hymn to Our Lady

Salve Mater Misericordiae (Hail Mother of Mercy) is a medieval hymn to Our Lady, attributed to the Carmelites.

The hymn is a tender invocation to Our Lady, remembering that she is our joy, our hope, and the glory of the human race, unequaled by any other of God's creatures. It is this Mother of mercy and forgiveness who intercedes for us before the the throne of God and who surpasses all other virgins,  martyrs and saints. The song ends with a final praise to Our Lady, asking her to be our comfort, so that one day we can leave this earth and join her in the heavenly choir.

Salve Mater Misericordiae is here interpreted by the Benedictine Monks of Silos.

Note: Only the Refrain and Verses 1 and 2 are sung in the recording, marked in red below. We have included all the other verses as well, marked in navy.

Listen to Salve Mater Misericordiae


Latin text:

Salve Mater misericordiae,
Mater Dei, et mater veniae,
Mater spei et mater gratiae,
Mater plena sanctae laetitiae.
O Maria!

1. Salve decus humani generis,
Salve Vırgo dignior ceteris,
Quae vırgines omnes transgrederis,
Et altius sedes in superis,
O Maria!


2. Salve felix Virgo puerpera,
Nam qui sedet in Patris dextera,
Caelum regens, terram et aethera,
Intra tua se clausit viscera,
O Maria!


3. Te creavit Pater ingenitus,
Obumbravit te Unigenitus,
Fecundavit te Sanctus Spıritus,
Tu es facta tota divinitus,
O Maria!


4. Te creavit Deus mirabilem,
Te respexit ancillam humilem,
Te quaesıvit sponsam amabilem,
Tibi nunquam fecit consimilem,
O Maria!


5. Te beatam laudare cupiunt,
Omnes justi, sed non suffıciunt,
Multas laudes de te concıpiunt,
Sed in illis prorsus deficiunt,
O Maria!


6. Esto, Mater, nostrum solatium,
Nostrum esto, tu Vırgo, gaudium,
Et nos tandem post hoc exsilium,
Laetos junge choris caelestium,
O Maria!


English translation:

Hail, Mother of Mercy
Mother of God and Mother of forgiveness,
Mother of hope and Mother of grace,
Mother full of holy joy.
O Mary!

1. Hail, glory of the human race,
Hail Virgin more worthy than the rest,
All the virgins thou dost surpass
And on the highest seat dost thou sit.
O Mary!


2. Hail, happy child-bearing Virgin,
For He who sits at the right hand of the Father,
Ruling heaven, earth and air,
In thy womb He enclosed Himself,
O Mary!


3. The natural Father created thee,
The Only Begotten [Son] overshadowed thee
The Holy Ghost made thee fruitful,
Thou art made entirely of God,
O Mary!


4. God created thee wonderful,
He looked at thee, a humble maid
He asked thee to be His lovely bride
He has never made any [other creature] like thee.
O Mary!


5. They wish to praise you blessedly,
All the just ones, but [it is] not enough;
They conceive many praises of thee,
But with them they utterly fail,
O Mary!


6. Be, Mother, our comfort,
Be ours, Virgin, joy;
And after this may we finally escape,
[And] joyfully join the heavenly choir,
O Mary!


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Salve mater


For a high-resolution JPG version, click here.

For a PDF version, click here.

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Altarpiece of Saint Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins
Tempera, oil and gold leaf on wood,
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

Taken from Wikimedia.

  1. Courtesy of Gregobase, here.


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