Panis Angelicus

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Saint Thomas Aquinas composed Sacris Solemnis at the command of Pope Urban IV for the new feast of Corpus Christi in 1264.  The last two stanzas have become the hymn Panis Angelicus.  I have always viewed this as the heart of the Summa set to music.

When he was canonized in 1323 some objections were raised because of a lack of miracles relating to the Angelic Doctor.  Pope John xxii responded that every question Saint Thomas answered was a miracle.

Why we call God Father

1. He created us. We call God Father because He created us in a special way-namely, in His own image and likeness which He did not impress on other creatures here below: “He is thy Father Who made thee, and created thee.”

2. He governs us. We also call God Father because He governs us. For although He governs all things, yet He governs us as masters of ourselves whereas He governs other things as slaves of His will: “Thy providence, O Father, governs all things”. “Thou disposest of us with great favor”.

3. He adopted us. We call God Father because He has adopted us. For He endowed other creatures with trifling gifts, but to us He granted the inheritance, because (as the Apostle says) we are His sons “and if sons, heirs also”. “You have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons whereby we cry, Abba (‘Father’)”.

Saint Thomas Aquinas



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  1. Pange lingua, gloriosi,
    Corporis mysterium,
    Sanguinisque pretiosi,
    Quem in mundi pretium,
    Fructus ventris generosi
    Rex effudit gentium.

    Sing, my tongue, the Saviours glory,
    of his flesh the mystery sing:
    of the blood all price exceeding
    shed by our immortal King,
    destined for the world’s redemption
    from a noble womb to spring.

    My tongue- the same tongue spoken so fearfully of by saint James, so frequently misused by my own contrary will, is privileged to receive the power might and glory of the Holy God.
    We didn’t sing this song at Mass this morning…I hope in other places right around the world it was sung with love.

  2. We did sing O Salutaris though- but I missed Panis Angelicus and Pange Lingua. Did I tell you that our religious ed committee was discussing not having Tantum and Salutaris during the Benediction being held to teach the kids about Benediction…”because they don’t know them”
    …Duh! that is our job! Teach them the songs- then they will know them.

  3. Used to sing this in grade school in Kentucky at daily mass before the Ursulines walked us back up the hill for yet more prayers and real larnin’.

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