March 11

A Hymn of St Ambrose

The eternal gifts of Christ the King, the Martyr’s glorious deeds we sing: and while due hymns of praise we pay, our thankful hearts cast grief away.

The Church in these her princes boasts, these victor chiefs of warrior hosts: the soldiers of the heavenly hall, the lights that rose on earth for all.

The terrors of the world despised, the body’s torments lightly prized, by one the brief space of death and pain, life everlasting they obtain.

To flames the martyr saints are haled: by teeth of savage beasts assail’d; against them, armed with ruthless brand and hooks of steel, the torturers stand.

The mangled frame is tortured sore; the holy life-drops freshly pour: they stand unmoved amidst the strife, by grace of everlasting life.

‘Twas thus the yearning faith of Saints, the unconquered hope that never faints, the love of Christ that knows not shame, the prince of this world overcame.

In these the Father’s glory shone, in these the will of God the Son: in these exults the Holy Ghost, through these rejoice the heavenly host.

Redeemer, hear us of thy love, that with this glorious band above, hereafter, of thine endless grace, thy servants also may have place.  Amen.

~St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (374-397 A.D.)

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