Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


For your Advent meditation

December 5th, 2009, Promulgated by Choir

The Alma Redemptoris is one of four Marian liturgical antiphons sung at the end of Compline. It is sung to the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin. The Alma is the appropriate antiphon during Advent. The other three antiphons are Ave Regina Caelorum, Salve Regina and Regina Coeli.



Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.


Loving Mother of our Savior, hear thou thy people’s cry
Star of the deep and Portal of the sky!
Mother of Him who thee made from nothing made.
Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid:
Oh, by what joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.

A little history: This piece was written by Herman Contractus, aka Herman of Reichenau.
Born with a cleft palate, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida to a farm family. His parents cared for him until the age of seven, but in 1020 they gave him over to the abbey of Reichenau Island in Lake Constance in southern Germany; he spent the rest of his life there. He became a Benedictine monk at age twenty. A genius, he studied and wrote on astronomy, theology, math, history, poetry, Arabic,Greek and Latin. He built musical instruments and astronomical equipment. In later life he became blind and had to give up his academic writing. The most famous religious poet of his day, he is the author of the Salve Regina and Alma Redemptoris Mater.

Here is a little more about Herman. This was written by the late Rochester priest, Reverend Robert F. McNamara.



2 Responses to “For your Advent meditation”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    What a magnificent Advent prayer! Any history with it?

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    WOW! Awesome! Thank you!

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