Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Thursday, 22 December 2016

O Rex Gentium. Antiphon For 22 December.

Text from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

English: The Virgin of The Angels.
Français: La Vierge aux anges.
Artist: William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905).
Date: 1881.
Author: William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905).
(Wikimedia Commons)

"O Rex Gentium".
Sung by
The Dominican Student Brothers
in Oxford.
Available on YouTube at

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.

O King of the Nations, and their desire,
The Corner Stone making both one:
Come and save the Human Race,
which you fashioned from clay.

Isaiah had prophesied:

"For a child has been born for us, a son given us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

"He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." Isaiah 2:4

The following Text is from "The Liturgical Year",
by Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B.

O King of Nations !, Thou art approaching still nigher to Bethlehem [Editor: In Hebrew, Bethlehem means "House of Bread"], where Thou art to be born. The journey is almost over, and Thy august Mother, consoled and strengthened by the dear weight she bears, holds an unceasing converse with Thee on the way.

She adores Thy Divine Majesty; she gives thanks to Thy Mercy; she rejoices that she has been chosen for the sublime ministry of being Mother to God. She longs for that happy moment when her eyes shall look upon Thee, and yet she fears it.

For, how will she be able to render Thee those services which are due to Thy infinite greatness, she that thinks herself the last of creatures ? How will she dare to raise Thee up in her arms, and press Thee to her heart, and feed Thee at her breasts ? When she reflects that the hour is now near at hand, in which, being born of her, Thou wilt require all her care and tenderness, her heart sinks within her; for, what human heart could bear the intense vehemence of these two affections - the love of such a Mother for her Babe, and the love of such a creature for her God ?

But Thou supportest her, O Thou The Desired of Nations !, for Thou, too, longest for that happy birth, which is to give to the Earth its Saviour, and to men that Corner-Stone, which will unite them all into one family. Dearest King !, be Thou Blessed for all these wonders of Thy Power and Goodness !

Come speedily, we beseech Thee, come and save us, for we are dear to Thee, as creatures that have been formed by Thy Divine Hands. Yea, come, for Thy creation has grown degenerate; it is lost; death has taken possession of it.

Take Thou it again into Thy Almighty Hands, and give it a new creation; save it; for Thou hast not ceased to take pleasure in and love Thine own work.


O Rex pacifice,
tu ante saecula nate,
per auream egredere portam,
redemptos tuos visita,
et eos illuc revoca,
unde ruerunt per culpam.

O King of peace !,
that wast born before all ages,
come by the golden gate;
visit them whom Thou hast redeemed,
and lead them back to the place
whence they fell by sin.

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