St Francis Xavier (John Stainer)
- Editor: John Henry Fowler (submitted 2007-12-03). Score information: A4, 1 page, 20 kB Copyright: Public Domain
- Edition notes: Based on the edition from the Cyber Hymnal™
Title: My God, I love Thee
Hymn tune: St Francis Xavier
Composer: John Stainer
Description: The original lyric is reportedly a Spanish sonnet which begins, "No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte"; it appeared in Diepenbrock’s Geistlicher Blumenstrauss (1829), attributed to Francis Xavier. It also appeared in the Poesias of Theresa de Jesus (1515-1582), showing her as the author, but was not in in her Libros (Lisbon: 1616), Obras (Lisbon: 1654), or Opera (Köln, Germany: 1686). Julian believed the Latin form was probably by Xavier or by a German Jesuit. A translation of the Latin lyrics was published in 1668 in Heilige Seelenlust, by Johann Scheffler, crediting Xavier as the author.
Original text and translations
My God, I love Thee; not because
I hope for Heav’n thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not
May eternally die.
Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
Upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails and spear,
And manifold disgrace.
And griefs and torments numberless,
And sweat of agony;
E’en death itself; and all for man
Who was Thine enemy.
Then why, O blessèd Jesus Christ
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning Heaven,
Nor of escaping hell.
Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Nor seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast lovèd me,
O everlasting Lord!
E’en so I love Thee, and will love,
And in Thy praise will sing,
Solely because Thou art my God,
And my eternal King.
Lyrics: Author unknown (O Deus, ego amo te); translated from Latin to English by Edward Caswall, Lyra Catholica, 1849.