March 9, 2013

Now Let Us Praise / Fortem Virili Pectore

A Woman Noble, Great

Now Let Us Praise is a 1967 Sr. Jane Marie Perrot (1916-1998) paraphrase of the the Latin hymn, Fortem Virili Pectore by Cardinal Silvio Antoniano (1540-1603). In the Roman Breviary, Fortem Virili Pectore was sung at Vespers and Lauds in the Common of a Holy Woman. Cardinal Antoniano was a member of the commission called by Pope Clement VIII to revise the Breviary. Sister Perrot, a Daughter of Charity was actively involved in Catholic music education and liturgical reform. In 1975 she conducted the choir at the Vatican for the canonization of Elizabeth Ann Seton, America's first native-born saint. Sr. Perrot was the first woman ever to conduct a choir for a Eucharistic liturgy at St. Peter's Basilica. After conducting for over two hours, she said: "I'm joyfully exhausted!". Now Let Us Praise is sung to the 1906 tune, Sine Nomine by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). In the Liturgy of the Hours it is used in the Common of Holy Women, the Common of Virgins, and the Common of Doctors of the Church.


Fortem virili pectore
laudemus omnes feminam,
quæ sanctitatis gloria
ubique fulget inclita.

Hæc sancto amore saucia,
huius caduca sæculi
dum calcat, ad cælestia
iter peregit arduum.

Carnem domans ieiuniis,
dulcique mentem pabulo
orationis nutriens,
cæli potitur gaudiis.

Rex Christe, virtus fortium,
qui magna solus efficis,
huius precatu, quæsumus,
audi benignus supplices.

Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui nos beatæ servulæ
sperare das suffragia
et sempiterna præmia.

FORTEM VIRILI PECTORE (from the Roman Breviary)

1. Fortem virili pectore
Laudemus omnes feminam,
Quae sanctitatis gloria
Ubique fulget inclyta.

2. Haec sancto amore saucia,
Dum mundi amorem noxium
Horrescit, ad coelestia
Iter peregit arduum.

3. Carnem domans jejuniis,
Dulcique mentem pabulo
Orationis nutriens,
Coeli potitur gaudiis.

4. Rex Christe virtus fortium,
Qui magna solus efficis,
Hujus precatu, quaesumus,
Audi benignus supplices.

5. Deo Patri sit gloria,
Ejusque soli Filio,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito,
Nunc, et per omne saeculum.

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