Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jersey Cows And The Salve Regina



I recently heard of a young monk whose monastery is situated on a rugged, north Atlantic coast, that the monastery's Jersey cows give more milk when he sings the Salve Regina to them during the twice a day milking. Jersey cows by the way are not cows from New Jersey, USA, but from the Island of Jersey off the Normandy coast. Just imagine, if the Salve can help to keep cows calm, think of what it might do for us, so stressed, fearful and tempted to negativity and bitter hopelessness.

We might learn the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) to re-focus ourselves, to restore inner balance and clarity in difficult times. It is said that the medieval monk who wrote this hymn to the Mother of God was afflicted with what we'd today call polio or spina bifida. So the poor fellow understood sorrow and suffering.

Here's a beautiful link to the monks of Notre Dame Fontgombault singing the Salve (Sal-vay). Listen and sing along for a week and you'll know it by heart. The Latin words are printed below with an English sense-translation.



Salve Regina,  Hail Queen of Heaven
mater misericordiae:  hail, our Mother compassionate
Vita, dulcedo  true life and comfort
et spes nostra salve.  our hope, we greet you.
Ad te clamamus,  To you we exiles
exsules filii Hevae.  children of Eve, raise our voices.
Ad te suspiramus,  We send up sighs to you,
gementes et flentes  as mourning and weeping,
in hac lacrimarum valle.  we pass through this vale of sorrow.
Eia ergo  Then turn to us,
advocata nostra,  O most gracious Woman,
ill tuos misericordes oculos
ad nos converte.  your eyes filled with loving tenderness.
Et Jesum benedictum  And grant us after these, our days of
fructum ventris tui,  lonely exile, the sight of your blest Son
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende  and Lord, Christ Jesus.
O clemens, O gentle,
O pia, O loving,
O dulcis, Virgo Maria. O holy, sweet Virgin Mary.

13 comments:

  1. The Salve Regina is quite beautiful. I am glad you shared it here. I wonder how many young people have never heard this hymn.

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    1. Probably not many. But that should be an incentive for us to find some young people to whom we can teach this lovely prayer and hymn.

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  2. Thanks for this more literal translation of the Hail Holy Queen. The Latin is slightly different than our English version of this prayer.

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  3. Probably the translation we're familiar with was written so the cadences were easy on our ears - the better to memorize. Memorizing a few prayers matters a bit - a kind of jump start when we're dry or we've run out.

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  4. If the music has this effect on us, then we should be singing this hymn daily. Maybe there are other hymn you can share that would be helpful also. We can look them up and listen to them.

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  5. Well, funny you should mention it because I've got another one in the works. So, so lovely. Stay tuned.

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    1. Thank you. As always, you anticipate our needs. I will be looking forward to the next one as well.

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  6. There seems to be so much sorrow and despair lately. It is nice to have ways to lift our spirits and know that Mary is watching over us, listening to our good prayer.

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  7. I am grateful for all the exposure you give to the many beautiful prayers, stories and songs of our faith. It is a go to for me in difficult times. It is a comfort but it is also interesting.

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    1. We should all find a young person to teach this hymn to. Don't they need help today?

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  8. So many connections! I'm a Jersey girl-and grew up with Jersey cows and not only your comment of where they come from but am reading a historical fiction which includes a lovely romance about a young girl and her future husband who is traveling to Canada to inquire and raise Jersey cows! And now for our lovely Lady and the Salve Regina! I have another version on my phone which when I feel so lost I listen too! This is the most beautiful song ever! Thank you for so many confirmations of Gods love and providence! I still don't have it all memorized but will make such an effort for lent this year to do so!

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    1. And when you've got it memorized you'll be doing something around the house, or driving, or just walking from here to there and you'll realize you're into singing it - it just bubbles up from inside us. And you'll feel glad.

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  9. The title made me stop and take a look. I couldn't imagine what cows could have in common with the Salve Regina. But a wonderful surprise awaited me. The power of prayerful song reaches all of God's creatures. Beautiful.

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