September 28, 2015

Angel-Guardians of Men / Custodes Hominum Psallimus Angelos

Painting by Domenichino (1581-1641) - Wikipedia

PROPER OF SAINTS - Angel-Guardians of Men is a translation by Alan G. McDougall (1895-1964) of Custodes Hominum Psallimus Angelos by St. Robert Bellarmine SJ. (1542-1621). Bellarmine, one of leading Cardinals of the Counter-Reformation and was made a Doctor of the Church in 1931. Despite his extensive and pressing work in theological and ecclesiastical matters, he also found time to compose a number of poems in Italian and Latin. In the Roman Breviary Custodes Hominum Psallimus Angelos is sung at Vespers on the Feast of the Guardian Angels (October 2).


1. Angel-Guardians of men, spirits and powers we sing,
Whom our Father hath sent, aids to our weakly frame,
Heavenly friends and guides, help from on high to bring,
Lest we fail through the foeman's wile.

2. He, the spoiler of souls, Angel-traitor of old,
Cast in merited wrath out of his honored place,
Burns with envy and hate, seeking their souls to gain
Whom God's mercy invites to heaven.

3. Therefore come to our help, watchful ward of our lives:
Turn aside from the land, God to thy care confides
Sickness and woe of soul, yea, and what else of ill
Peace of heart to its folk denies.

4. Now to the Holy Three praise evermore resound:
Under whose hand divine resteth the triple world
Governed in wondrous wise: glory be theirs and might
While the ages unending run.


1. Custodes Hominum Psallimus Angelos
naturae fragili quos Pater addidit
caelestis comites, insidiantibus
ne succumberet hostibus.

2. Nam, quod corruerit proditor angelus,
concessis merito pulsus honoribus,
ardens invidia, pellere nititur
quos caelo Deus advocat.

3. Huc, custos, igitur pervigil advola,
avertens patria de tibi credita
tam morbos animi, quam requiescere
quidquid non sinit incolas.

4. Sanctae sit Triadi laus pia iugiter,
cuius perpetuo numine machina
triplex haec regitur, cuius in omnia
regnat gloria saecula. Amen.

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