Andrew Klusman's Blog

Apostle to the Americas, ora pro nobis

October 9th is the feast day of St. Louis Bertrand (in the 1962 calendar and onwards – in 1955 and earlier, his feast was observed on Oct 10), the Apostle to the Americas.  He is the patron of my parish in Louisville, KY, and he is the namesake for my Knights of Columbus Council as well (#10682!).  His feast is a 3rd class feast, so in the Dominican Rite, you pray the ordinary office.  I have been making a greater effort to pray the Office, and I have found that his propers are really beautiful.

A reproduction of an image from the life of St. Louis Bertrand, OP that once adorned the walls of St. Louis Bertrand Catholic Church, Louisville, KY. This can be seen in the newly renovated O’Brien Hall in the parish building.  Photo taken by me on a smartphone.

Below, I have copied the hymns from his office.  Over the next few days, I will continue to add little bits of his life and history to this blog as assembled from various sources, and provide more of the propers for his Mass and Office (all of which are gorgeous!).  Enjoy!

Hymn at Vespers of St. Louis Bertrand, OP, Confessor

1. Dum Ludovici gloria
Coruscat inter sidera, •
Fecunda Sanctorum parens
Det jubilos Valencia.
2. Immo parens Ecclesia
Letis canora vocibus
Grates ubique personet
Pro Numinis dementia.
3. Haec, Ludovici parvuli
Primam rigans infantiam,
Prrevenit in dulcedine
Lactentis innocentiam.
4. Haec jugis illi praefuit
Ad usque vitre vesperam
Armisque paenitentiae
Perduxit ad victoriam.
5. Sit laus Patri cum Filio,
Simulque sancto Flamini:
Laus sit polorum civibus
In tympanis et cymbalis.
I. While Louis, crowned with glory bright,
Now shines in heaven’s starry height,
Valencia sings her joyful song,
Proud parent of a saintly throng
2. And Mother Church, the world around,
Helps swell the wave of joyous sound
With voices raised in jubilee
To bless the Lord of clemency.
3. God gave to her his early days
To water well with grace his ways,
Prevening thus in sweetness mild
The virtue of this holy child.
4. She stood unfailing at his side
Until he reached life’s eventide:
‘Vith penance for his panoply
She led him on to victory.
5. Praise to the Father and the Son
And to the Holy Ghost be done:
Praise Him, ye blest of God’s domain,
‘Vith timbrel and with cymbal’s strain.

Hymn at Matins of St. Louis Bertrand, OP, Confessor

1. Nocturna Caeli lumina,
Suspiriorum conscia,
Quae Ludovicus aetheri
Mittebat inter verbera:
2. Plagas cruentas dicite,
Flagella, sulcos, vulnera,
Quae Sanctus ultro proprium
Vibrabat in corpusculum.
3. Fluxit pavimento cruor,
Cellae madebat ambitus,
Postquam supina ligneus
Luxarat ossa lectulus.
4. Sed tunc flagellis lividum
Superna lux circumdabat:
Divaeque binae debilem
Castis levabant brachiis.
5. Laus et perennis gloria
Deo Patri cum Filio,
Et utriusque Spiritu,
In sempiterna saecula.
1. 0 stars of night that gleam on high,
Full oft ye heard the fervent sigh
That Louis sent to Heaven above
The while he scourged himself for love!
2. Unveil the scene ye did behold
The blows, the wounds, the blood untold
As this great saint, with heart aflame,
Did discipline his mortal frame!
3. And when the pavement of his cell
Was moist with all the blood that fell,
A bed of wood renewed again
In every bone the cruel pain.
4. But lo! the light of God did flash
On him all crimsoned from the lash,
And angels twain soon came apace
To raise him in their chaste embrace.
5. To God the Father and the Son
Be praise and endless glory done:
And to their Spirit Paraclete
Be equal laud, for it is meet.

Hymn at Lauds of St. Louis Bertrand, OP, Confessor

I. En Ludovici laudibus
Aurora laxat purpuram:
Nox atra condit pallium,
Festivus albescit dies.
2. Sic Ludovicus Indiis
Noctis tenebras dispulit,
Idola fregit, et Cruce
Stitit feroces tigrides.
3. Bis ob fidem saevissimi
Hausit veneni pocula:
Sedavit undas aequoris,
Ignique fixit limitem.
4. Heroicis virtutibus
Idea factus Ordini:
Efflans ad astra spiritum
Exhalat ore lumina.
5. Sit Trinitati jugiter
Laus et perennis gloria,
Quae Ludovici fulgida
Resplendet in victoria.
I. Behold the magic wrought on high
As purple dawn bedecks the sky
And sable shadows steal away,
In praise of Louis’ festal day!
2. Thus did our Saint for Indies’ race
The shades of pagan night efface,
Destroy their idols made of clay,
And with the Cross hold beasts at bay.
3. Twice for the faith he won esteem
By drinking of the poisoned stream:
His word the sea’s wild waves made tame,
And set a limit for the flame.
4. To Dominic’s sons he doth uphold
A type of virtue high and bold:
As his great soul took final flight,
From out his mouth flashed sparks of light.
5. Let endless praise and glory be
Unto the Holy Trinity,
The glory of Whose grace divine
In Louis’ triumph clear doth shine.

Hymns taken from The Hymns of the Dominican Missal and Breviary by Fr. Aquinas Byrnes, OP.  Published by B. Herder Book Co., St. Louis, MO, 1943.

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