Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle

... is Italy's most popular Christmas carol, attributed to Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787), founder of the Redemptorist order and Doctor of the Church. It came to my attention this evening via Leticia Velasquez, who dedicated to her Aunt Teresa, who is preparing to meet her Maker. Our prayers have been requested.

There are several translations of this carol into English. The following is not the most literal, but is best suited to the melody.

From starry skies descending,
Thou comest, glorious King,
A manger low Thy bed,
In winter's icy sting;

O my dearest Child most holy,
Shudd'ring, trembling in the cold!
Great God, Thou lovest me!
What suff'ring Thou didst bear,
That I near Thee might be!

Thou art the world's Creator,
God's own and true Word,
Yet here no robe, no fire
For Thee, Divine Lord.

Dearest, fairest, sweetest Infant,
Dire this state of poverty.
The more I care for Thee,
Since Thou, o Love Divine,
Will'st now so poor to be.

The video above features the operatic crossover tenor Andrea Bocelli. We're also sending this one out to one of my dearest friends and a former research assistant on the mwbh staff.

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