Stabat Mater speciosa

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Stabat Mater speciosa, which describes the joy of Maria after the birth of Jesus, is a counterpart to the much more famous Stabat Mater dolorosa. It is clearly based on one of the Dolorosa versions, though the rhyming is certainly not as good. It was first published in an edition of the Italian poems of Jacopone published at Brescia in 1495 (although Jacopone is not thought to be the author), but the Speciosa fell into almost complete oblivion until A. F. Ozanam transcribed it from a fifteenth-century manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale for his Poètes Franciscains en Italie au Treizième siècle, Paris, 1852. Nevertheless it has also been occasionally put to music, for instance by Liszt and Diepenbrock.

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Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

(8a, 8b and 13b have no counterpart in the "Dolorosa")
1. Stabat Mater speciosa
Iuxta foenum gaudiosa
Dum iacebat parvulus

2. Cuius animam gaudentem
Laetabundam et ferventem
Pertransivit iubilus

3. O quam laeta et beata
Fuit illa immaculata
Mater unigeniti!

4. Quae gaudebat et ridebat,
Exultabat cum videbat
Nati partum incliti

5. Quis est, qui non gauderet,
Christi Matrem si videret
In tanto solacio?

6. Quis non posset collaetari,
Piam Matrem contemplari
Ludentem cum Filio?

7. Pro peccatis suae gentis
Vidit Iesum cum iumentis,
Et algori subditum.

8. Vidit suum dulcem natum
Vagientum adoratum
Vili diversorio

8a. Nati Christus in praesepe
Coeli cives canunt laete
Cum immenso gaudio

8b. Stabat senex cum puella
Non cum verbo nec loquela
Stupescentes cordibus

9. Eia Mater, fons amoris
Me sentire vim ardoris
Fac, ut tecum sentiam

10. Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
In amando Christum Deum
Ut sibi complaceam

11. Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Pone nostro ducas plagas
Cordi fixas valide.

12. Tui nati coelo lapsi,
Iam dignati foeno nasci,
Poenas mecum divide.

13. Fac me tecum congaudere
Iesulino cohaerere
Donec ego vixero

13a. In me sistat ardor tui
Puerino fac me frui
Dum sum in exilio

14. Hunc ardorem fac communem,
Ne me facias immunem,
Ab hoc desiderio.

15. Virgo virginum praeclara,
Mihi iam non sis amara
Fac me parvum rapere

16. Fac, ut portem pulchrum fortem
Qui nascendo vicit mortem,
Volens vitam tradere.

17. Fac me tecum satiari,
Nato tuo inebriari,
Stans inter tripudia.

18. Inflammatus et accensus
Obstupescit omnis sensus
Tali decommercio.

19. Fac me nato custodiri
Verbo Christi praemuniri
Conservari gratia.

20. Quando corpus morietur,
Fac, ut animae donetur
Tui nati visio.

English.png English translation

1. The beautiful Mother
 stood joyously at the crib
 in which her child lay

2. Through her exultant soul
 Dancing with joy
 Went a song of rejoicing

3. O how jubilant and blessed
 was the immaculate
 Mother of the Only-begotten

4. O how happy and laughing
 And exultant did she watch
 The birth of her divine son

5. Who would not rejoice
 If he saw the Mother of Christ
 In such comfort?

6. Who would not jubilant too
 Watching Christ's Mother
 Playing with her son?

7. For the sins of His people
 Amidst beasts of burden she saw
 Jesus subjected to the cold.

8. She saw her sweet offspring
 That she adored, crying
 Swathed in cheap bandages

8a. For just-born Christ in his crib
 The angels sing joyously
 And in great rejoicing

8b. The old man stood at his young wife
 Without speaking, and his heart
 Filled with unspeakable wonder

9. Oh Mother, fountain of love
 Make me feel your ardour
 Let me share it with you.

10. Make my heart burn
 With the love of Christ-God
 And find grace in his eyes

11. Blessed Mother, be not harsh
 Cause your sufferings
 To be fixed deeply in my heart.

12. With your child from heaven
 Let me share my part
 Of the penance He deigns to bear

13. Make me rejoice with you,
 and share the adoration of Jesus,
 as long as I shall live

13a. May your ardour fill me
 May the child be my refuge
 In my exile

14. Familiarize me with this ardour
 Make that I do not turn
 From this desire.

15. Virgin, most exalted among virgins,
 Be not bitter towards me,
 Let me take the child in my arms

16. Let me have the strength of him,
 Who by his birth conquers death,
 And is willing to give his life.

17.Let me be with you fulfilled,
 Intoxicated with your first-born
 Under such good omens.

18. Thus aflame with fire of love,
 All feelings are silenced
 By such selflessness

19. May the first-born protect me,
 And Christ's word strengthen me,
 And his blessing save me.

20. When my body dies,
Then let my soul behold,
The sight of your first-born.