O Deus ego amo Te

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A hymn of uncertain authorship, but attributed to St. Francis xavier. It is a famous Latin version of No me mueve, mi Dios, an anonymous Spanish soneto known to have existed for many years before it was first printed in 1628. The sonnet was familiar to ignatius of loyola and to Francis Xavier (d. 1552), who, in his missionary instructions, used Spanish and Portuguese versions of it. In the Latin hymn the five stanzas of irregular rhythm glow with an ardent love for the crucified Christ. The literal expression of this love has been criticized because it excludes both hope of reward and fear of punishment: Nec amo Te ut salves me,/Aut quia non amantes Te/Aeterno punis igne. English versions of the hymn are found in numerous hymnals. Another hymn, O Deus ego amo Te/Nam prior Tu amasti me, paraphrases in its five stanzas the familiar prayer ascribed to Ignatius Loyola, the Suscipe or "Take, O Lord."

Bibliography: h. a. daniel, Thesaurus hymnologicus, 5 v. (Halle-Leipzig 184156) 2:335; 4:347, for text. u. chevalier, Repertorium hymnologicum (Louvain-Brussels 18921921) 2:1289698. j. julian, ed., A Dictionary of Hymnology (New York 1957) 826, 1296. m. britt, ed., The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal (new ed. New York 1948) 193194, for a tr. m. c. huff, The Sonnet "No me mueve, mi Dios" (Washington 1948). j. m. cooper, "An Aspect of Perfect Love," American Ecclesiastical Review 115 (1946) 101120. f. j. connell, "Unselfish Love of God," ibid. 113 (1945) 5961.

[g. e. conway]