The Coronation of the Virgin, Velásquez, 1645
Museo del Prado, Madrid [Web Gallery of Art]
O God, who made the Mother of your Son
to be our Mother and our Queen,
graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession,
we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom
the glory promised to your children.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Ave Regina Caelorum is one of four Marian antiphons or hymns sung at the end of Compline (Night Prayer), the last 'hour' of the Liturgy of the Hours. (Only one antiphon is sung each nithg.) It is the antiphon sung on the Solemnity of the Assumption and on today's feast. In the video above it is sung at the end of Mass in the Sistine Chapel the morning after Pope Francis was elected.
Ave, Regina Caelorum,
Hail, O Queen of Heaven.
Ave, Domina Angelorum:
Hail, O Lady of Angels
Salve, radix, salve, porta
Hail! thou root, hail! thou gate
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:
From whom unto the world, a light has arisen.
Gaude, Virgo gloriosa.
Rejoice, O glorious Virgin,
Super omnes speciosa,
Lovely beyond all others,
Vale, o valde decora,
Farewell, most beautiful maiden,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.
And pray for us to Christ.
Below is a setting by Palestrina, sung by a choir in Budapest, Hungary.
In this period I have recalled several times the need for every Christian, in the midst of the many occupations that fill our days, to find time for God and for prayer. The Lord himself gives us many opportunities to remember him. Today I would like to reflect briefly on one of these channels that can lead to God and can also be of help in the encounter with him. It is the way of artistic expression, part of that 'via pulchritudinis' — the 'way of beauty', of which I have spoken several times and whose deepest meaning must be recovered by men and women today.