“There is a venerable tradition connected with this joyous anthem. It is related that a fearful pestilence raged in Rome, during one of the Easters of the pontificate of St. Gregory the Great. In order to propitiate the anger of God, the holy Pope prescribed a public procession of both people and clergy, in which was to be carried the portrait of our blessed Lady painted by St. Luke. The procession was advancing in the direction of St. Peter’s; and as the holy picture, followed by the Pontiff, was carried along, the atmosphere became pure and free from pestilence. Having reached the bridge which joins the city with the Vatican, a choir of angels was heard singing above the picture, and saying: ‘Rejoice, O Queen of heaven, alleluia! for he whom thou didst deserve to bear, alleluia! hath risen, as he said, alleluia!’ As soon as the heavenly music ceased, the saintly Pontiff took courage, and added these words to those of the angels: ‘Pray to God for us, alleluia!’ Thus was composed the Paschal anthem to our Lady. Raising his eyes to heaven, Gregory saw the destroying angel standing on the top of the Mole of Hadrian, and sheathing his sword. In memory of this apparition the Mole was called the Castle of Sant’ Angelo, and on the dome was placed an immense statue representing an angel holding his sword in the scabbard.” [ Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year ].
Traditional Catholic parishes pray it after each Mass during Eastertide. Regina Cæli is prayed standing, in place of the Angelus, during the Easter Season from Holy Saturday until Pentecost.
♕ Regina Cæli (Regina Cœli) – Queen of Heaven Hymn in Latin and English
| ℣. Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia!
℟. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia!
|℣. Rejoice, O Queen of heaven, alleluia!
℟. The Son you merited to bear, alleluia!
|℣. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia!
℟. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia!
|℣. Has risen as He said, alleluia!
℟. Pray to God for us, alleluia!
|℣. Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia!
℟. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia!
|℣. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia!
℟. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia!
Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum lætificare dignatus es: præsta, quæsumus, ut per eius Genitricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuæ capiamus gaudia vitæ. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum.
|℣. Let us pray.
O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord.
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