Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Monday, 19 May 2014

Verbum Supernum. Benediction Hymn. Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274).

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Verbum Supernum.
Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Available on YouTube at

Verbum Supernum Prodiens is a Catholic Hymn in long metre by Saint Thomas Aquinas. It was written for the Hour of Lauds in the Divine Office of Corpus Christi. It is about the institution of the Eucharist by Christ at the Last Supper, and His Passion and Death.

The last two verses form a Hymn on their own, as well, O Salutaris Hostia, which is sung at the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

There is also an unrelated Latin Nativity Hymn of the same name.

Verbum supernum prodiens,
Nec Patris linquens dexteram,
Ad opus suum exiens,
Venit ad vitæ vesperam.

In mortem a discipulo
Suis tradendus æmulis,
Prius in vitæ ferculo
Se tradidit discipulis.

Quibus sub bina specie
Carnem dedit et sanguinem;
Ut duplicis substantiæ
Totum cibaret hominem.

Se nascens dedit socium,
Convescens in edulium,
Se moriens in pretium,
Se regnans dat in præmium.

O salutaris hostia,
Quæ cæli pandis ostium,
Bella premunt hostilia;
Da robur, fer auxilium.

Uni trinoque Domino
Sit sempiterna gloria:
Qui vitam sine termino
Nobis donet in patria.


English translation.

The Word descending from above,
without leaving the right hand of His Father,
and going forth to do His work,
reached the evening of His life.

When about to be given over
to His enemies by one of His disciples,
to suffer death, He first gave Himself
to His disciples as the bread of life.

Under a twofold appearance
He gave them His flesh and His blood;
that He might thus wholly feed us
made up of a twofold substance.

By His birth He gave Himself as our companion;
at the Last Supper He gave Himself as our food;
dying on the cross He gave Himself as our ransom;
reigning in heaven He gives Himself as our reward

O salutary Host,
Who expandest the door of the sky,
Hostile wars press.
Give strength; bear aid.

To the Lord One in Three,
May there be sempiternal glory;
May He grant us life without end
In the native land.


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