The Cammino concludes

Today I've posted my final installment of the Cammino attraverso la Commedia over at Verdicts. Thanks to everyone who has followed along, and special thanks to Helen and Flavia who performed intellectual works of mercy (you didn't know there were intellectual works of mercy, did you?) by commenting on each post. (They will certainly get time off in Purgatory for that!) Although Mary was in the upper room with the apostles, Bernard's hymn to Mary isn't a perfect match for Pentecost. But it is May, and the hymn is beautiful, and I couldn't fit it into my post, so I've posted it below. If you would like to find all the posts on Dante, you can click here. Of course, feel free to comment.

'Virgin Mother, daughter of your Son,
more humble and exalted than any other creature,
fixed goal of the eternal plan,
you are the one who so ennobled human nature
that He, who made it first, did not disdain
to make Himself of its own making.

Your womb relit the flame of love --its heat has made this blossom seed
and flower in eternal peace.

To us you are a noonday torch of charity,
while down below, among those still in flesh,
you are the living fountainhead of hope.

Lady, you are so great and so prevail above,
should he who longs for grace not turn to you,
his longing would be doomed to wingless flight.

Your loving kindness does not only aid
whoever seeks it, but many times
gives freely what has yet to be implored.

In you clemency, in you compassion,
in you munificence, in you are joined
all virtues found in any creature.

This man who, from within the deepest pit
the universe contains up to these heights
has seen the disembodied spirits, one by one,

now begs you, by your grace, to grant such power
that, by lifting up his eyes,
he may rise higher toward his ultimate salvation.

And I, who never burned for my own seeing
more than now I burn for his, offer all my prayers,
and pray that they may not fall short,

so that your prayers disperse on his behal
fall clouds of his mortality and let
the highest beauty be displayed to him.

This too, my Queen, I ask of you, who can achieve
whatever you desire, that you help him preserve,
after such vision, the purity of his affections.

Let your protection rule his mortal passions.
See Beatrice, with so many of the blessed,
palms pressed together, joining me in prayer.


(The translation comes from the Princeton Dante Project, which I have used in every post.

[Return to main page]

Scott D. Moringiello is an an assistant professor in the Department of Catholic Studies at DePaul University, where he teaches courses in Catholic theology and religion and literature. He blogs at dotCommonweal.

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Must Reads