Deus, Tuorum Militum

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An Ambrosian hymn historically assigned for Matins and Vespers for the common feast of a martyr in the Roman breviary. It dates probably from the sixth century and is attributed to the unknown author of rex gloriose martyrum and jesu, redemptor omnium. The hymn exists in a longer version of eight strophes and a shorter one of four, which is probably earlier. The Vatican antiphonary provided two different melodies for use in the paschal season and during the octave of the Nativity, during which the feast of stephen the protomartyr occurs. The hymn is a prayer of the Christian assembly asking God to forgive the sins of His servants on the day of the martyr's triumph over the pleasures of the world and the torture of persecution.

Bibliography: Analecta hymnica 51:130131, text. r. gazeau, Catholicisme 3:698. j. connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy (Westminster, MD 1957) 140143, Eng. tr. j. szÖvÉrffy, Die Annalen der lateinischen Hymnendichtung (Berlin 196465) 1:65, 96.

[m. m. beyenka]