"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Adoro Te Devote ... Lord Jesus, Good Pelican Wash Me Clean With Your Blood

via The Anchoress... In St. Thomas Aquinas’ Adoro te Devote, we sing:
Pie Pellicane, Iesu Domine, Me immundum munda tuo sanguine. Cuius una stilla salvum facere Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.
Translation: Lord Jesus, good Pelican, wash me clean with your blood, one drop of which can free the entire world of all its sins.
Why “Jesus, good Pelican?” The Pelican has come to be a symbol of the Eucharist: The Pelican is a symbol of the atonement and the Redeemer and is often found in Christian murals, frescos, paintings and stained glass. The pelican was believed to wound itself in order to feed its young with its own blood. In the hymn “Adoro Te,” St. Thomas Aquinas addresses the Savior with, “Pelican of Mercy, cleanse me in Thy Precious Blood.” Allusion is even made to this belief in “Hamlet” (act iv): “To his good friend thus wide I’ll ope my arms And, like the kind, life-rendering pelican, Repast them with my blood.” This tradition and others is found in the Physiologus, an early Christian work which appeared in the second century in Alexandria, Egypt. . . . This work was noted by St. Epiphanius, St. Basil and St. Peter of Alexandria. It was also popular in the Middle Ages and was a source for the symbols used in the various stone carvings and other artwork of that period. We see mention of the Pelican in scripture, in Psalm 102, the Domine Exaudi, the penetiential psalm of one in affliction:
I have become like a pelican in the wilderness like an owl in desolate places. I lie awake and I moan like some lonely bird on a roof . .
I devoutly adore you, O hidden God, truly hidden beneath these appearances. My whole heart submits to you, And in contemplating you, It surrenders itself completely. Sight, touch, taste are all deceived in their judgment of you, but hearing suffices firmly to believe. I believe all that the Son of God has spoken; there is nothing truer than this word of truth. On the cross only the divinity was hidden, but here the humanity is also hidden. I believe and confess both, and ask for what the repentant thief asked. I do not see the wounds as Thomas did, but I confess that you are my God. Make me believe more and more in you, hope in you, and love you. O memorial of our Lord's death! Living bread that gives life to man, grant my soul to live on you, and always to savor your sweetness. Lord Jesus, Good Pelican, wash me clean with your blood, one drop of which can free the entire world of all its sins. Jesus, whom now I see hidden, I ask you to fulfill what I so desire: That on seeing you face to face, I may be happy in seeing your glory. Amen The sixth verse "Pie Pelicane, Jesu, Domine" is sometimes used as a separate hymn during Benediction.[1] References: English Translation, "Pie Pelicane, Jesu, Domine". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Pie_Pelicane,_Jesu,_Domine. v • d • ePrayers and the Catholic Church Looking at these beautiful birds struggling to survive, covered as they are, it just brought it all to mind. Oddly related beachglass from the Paragraph Farmer:
God cannot be inert. On the contrary, wrote John the Evangelist, God is love, and the essence of love is the act of self-giving. Love would have to be that way, wouldn’t it, springing as it does from the template laid down by a triune God? Some beach glass, then: who God is and what God does are inseparable, and neither part of that leaves any room for improvement.
A lover of the Pelican, who stood against the Communists in Poland, will be beatified tomorrow: http://www.gloria.tv/?media=80601

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