In caelesti collegio

This is my translation of a 15th century hymn to St. Francis, In caelesti collegio.

The hymn points out St. Francis’ resemblances to Jesus Christ and to groups of His saints, showing how he belongs among them: apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, and angels.

St. Francis shines in glorious light
Among the heav’nly college bright,
For by a grace of special kind
Christ’s marks are on St. Francis signed.

He lived with friends in poverty,
An apostolic company,
And bears the cross that signals peace,
The covenant that shall not cease.

A martyr by desire, he bears
The cross of Christ, whose sign he wears,
So in the heav’ns Christ makes him be
One with the martyr’s company.

He always bore the cross of Christ.
Through abstinence he sacrificed.
So with confessors now he reigns
And with them their reward he gains.

In gleaming robes as white as snow
He follows where Christ’s footsteps go,
And joys in chastity’s great prize
In angel choirs above the skies.

O Father, Son, and Spirit, by
The wounds of Francis purify
Your servants who these gifts implore
Forever and forevermore.

 

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