O Passio Magna!

We are in Passion Week, countdown to the most important events (Passion, Death and Resurrection) in the Liturgical year and on which Man’s redemption lies. On this great mystery, Christ’s Holy Church was built. Our prayers and meditations are now centred on the Suffering Saviour’s last days among His Apostles and followers on Earth, but Whose Sacrifice should be ever-present in our own lives, and re-enacted daily through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


O passio magna!
O profunda vulnera!
O inestimabilis dolor!
O largissima effusio sanguinis!
O abundantissima effusio lacrimarum!
O dulcis dulcedo!
O mortis amaritudo!
Da mihi vitam aeternam.

O great Passion!
O profound wounds!
O immeasurable sorrow!
O most copious shedding of blood!
O most abundant outpouring of tears!
O surpassing sweetness!
O death suffered in every bitterness!
Give me eternal life.



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9 Responses to O Passio Magna!

  1. The Latin has a timeless quality about it, doesn’t it?

    The English lacks that quality here.

    Someday, perhaps far in the future, but someday, a sense of timelessness will again be considered important, and Latin will be widely taught once more.

  2. J.P. says:

    It is surely not in what language the Mass is said that is important, but the Mass itself, in whatever language it is said.

  3. J.P. says:

    Why has O Passio Magna been translated into English,a supposedly inferior language, if all are so fluent in Latin ?

  4. GC says:

    But, Robert John, these days this would appear way over the top. Full of adjectives in the superlative and words that cannot logically have any superlative or higher degree. This just won’t do, unless such gushing language is for the advancement of the environment, marriage equality, equal pay for wimmin or tolerance and inclusiveness all round, of course. Let’s have some ‘contextual theology’ here, I think they call it.

    I once sang this song (in my 20s) in the early 80s after communion on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the religious profession of one of my aunts, my father’s elder sister. She was a member of a French teaching order we have here that first established schools for girls here in darkest Asia. They were more or less the first schools for girls here. The French sisters were very soon followed by English-speaking Irish sisters of the same order. They have local sisters now also. They built magnificent schools for us womenfolk; schools that are still on the highest rungs of our educational ladder these very many decades later. They also looked after orphaned or abandoned infants and children.

    O mysterium ineffabile! O caritatis sacramentum admirabile!
    O bonitatis prodigium! O pietatis miraculum!
    O amor, O pietas, O epularum jucunditas, O convivarum felicitas!

    O ineffable mystery! O admirable sacrament of love!
    O prodigy of goodness! O miracle of faithfulness!
    O love, O faithfulness, O joyfulness of the feast,
    O happiness of the feasters!

    I was much criticised later. Why couldn’t I sing something in English or Chinese that the people could sing along with and ‘participate in’ in the spirit of the Council and tap their toes to? Now, I ask you.

    Yes, these sisters appear to be very much in decline now. I don’t think the ‘Papi Jorge Mario effect’ has worked its magic here as yet.

  5. The Raven says:

    Well John, I had never considered reading this blog to constitute a liturgical celebration, an action addressed to God alone. Maybe if I did think of the blog in that way, I might concede you had a point.

  6. J.P. says:

    The Raven April 7@08:26. I am so happy that there is a remote possibility, however qualified, of anyone on this blog ever agreeing to anything I say, however innocuous. That said, I am wondering if you omit all readings from the Mass what have you left ?
    Put another way, is it better that the Mass is said in a language not understood by very many or in a language that all understand ?
    If Latin is so very important, why not ask those managing this blog to accept only posts written in Latin ? If I am not blocked, I would be happy to post in Latin. You could be the first to give a lead.

  7. The Raven says:

    I think that you already know that I think that the premise of your post is a strawman, John.

    You also know that I consider that your monolithic understanding of participation at Mass is deeply ill-conceived.

  8. J.P. says:

    The Raven April 7@11:45. How can facilitating an appreciation and understanding of what the priest is saying at Mass, as when said in the vernacular, and the making of liturgical responses by the congregation, also in the vernacular, be a deeply ill-conceived understanding of what the Mass is all about ?

  9. The Raven says:

    You’ve answered your own question there, John.

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