Ave Regina Caelorum is a popular Marian antiphon from around the 12th century. It appears to be of monastic origin and the author is unknown. Herman Contractus (+1054) is often suggested as the author, for he wrote several popular Marian antiphons arround then. This antiphon is one of the traditional concluding antiphons for Compline in use since the 13th century. It is traditionally recited from the Feast of the Purification (Feb. 2) until Wednesday in Holy Week. The traditional collect, which is not a part of the antiphon proper, is also given below. As noted by St. Jerome, the versicle and response originally appeared in the writings of St. Ephrem the Syrian (306-373).
| AVE, Regina caelorum,
Ave, Domina Angelorum:
Salve, radix, salve, porta,
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:
| HAIL, O Queen of Heav'n enthron'd,
Hail, by angels Mistress own'd
Root of Jesse, Gate of morn,
Whence the world's true light was born.
| Gaude, Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa,
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.
| Glorious Virgin, joy to thee,
Loveliest whom in Heaven they see,
Fairest thou where all are fair!
Plead with Christ our sins to spare.
| V. Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata.
R. Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.
| V. Allow me to praise thee, holy Virgin.
R. Give me strength against thy enemies.
Concede, misericors Deus, fragilitati nostrae praesidium; ut, qui sanctae Dei Genetricis memoriam agimus; intercessionis eius auxilio, a nostris iniquitatibus resurgamus. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
| Let us pray
Grant, O merciful God, to our weak natures Thy protection, that we who commemorate the holy Mother of God may, by the help of her intercession, arise from our iniquities. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
|From the Roman Breviary. Translation of the antiphon itself by Fr. Edward Caswall (1814-1878).|