Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Magnifacat

(colors added by author)

The Angel shown here is the humble and inspired work of the author of this blog.
Ad Majoran Dei Gloriam. To the Greater Glory of God.


A few weeks after the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel, Maryam/Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth who was herself pregnant with John the Baptist. As they embraced Elizabeth saluted Mary as one who carried the Redeemer in her womb. Mary's reply to Elizabeth's salutation is the exquisite Magnificat.

Originally written in Greek, the language of the Eastern world at that time; in the Western world it is most often found in Latin.

The Greek and Latin texts are taken from the New Testament, from the Gospel of Luke, 1:46 - 55.

I am publishing the Latin text also known as the Vulgata as translated from the Greek by Saint Jerome, one of the Doctors of the the Roman Catholic Church. He translated the Old Testament from Hebrew into Latin in the 4th century Anno Domini- A. D. He was a formidable man of integrity and true moral values. I promise an essay on Jerome during the Christmas holidays.

Behold! The Magnificat attributed to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

1. Magnificat anima mea, Dominum
2. Et exultavi spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo.
3. Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suiae.
4. Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
5. Et miseridordia eices a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.
6. Fecit potentiam in bracchio suo, dispersit superba mente cardis sui.
7. Deposuit potentes de sede et exualtavit humilis.
8. Esurientes implevit bonis et et divitas dimint inanes,
9. Suscepit Israel puerum suum recordatus misericordine suae,
10. Sicut loculus est semini slus in saecula.

The best known and most beautiful MAGNIFICAT is the one composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (bwv 243). He was Protestant Kappelmeister in Dresden and Brandenburg. Today his music is played in all Christian Churches , Catholic or non-Catholic. I know some Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Parsees, and Agnostics and Atheists who are deeply moved by Bach's Magnificat.

Here is the Catholic Douay-Rheims version in English as translated from Saint Jerome's Latin text.

1. My soul doth magnify the Lord
2. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
3. For he hath regarded the humble estate of his handmaiden.
4. For, Behold! from henceforh all generations shall call meBLESSED.
5. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and Holy is His name.
6. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation.
7. He hath shown strength with His arm;
8. He hath humbled the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
9. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and esalted those of low degree.
10. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent away empty.
11. He hath helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy,
12. As He spoke to our Father, to Abraham, and to His seed for ever.

Note that the English version is slightly longer. Latin is a clearer, more logical language than English. Indeed, we have so many adjectives and nuances in English that I perforce believe that they exist for equivocation and deceit.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the beautiful Magnificat, Isabel. When I read your earlier entry of Monday, November 30, I immediately thought of the Magnificat and how wonderful and appropriate it would be to see it posted on your blog ... my wishes fulfilled!

    Grazie infinite,



Isabel Van Fechtmann

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