Sanctorum Meritis

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The office hymn that was formerly prescribed for Vespers of the Common of Many Martyrs outside Paschal time. It has six unrhymed stanzas of four verses each (three Asclepiadean and one glyconic). It appeared anonymously in manuscripts of the 9th century. Dreves includes it in a group of hymns he attributes to rabanusmaurus, Abbot of Fulda and later Archbishop of Mainz (d. 856). But other scholars, such as Raby, feel that this austere, simple, albeit learned, monk did not possess such creative poetic ability. hincmar of reims (d. 882), who did not know the author of this hymn, took exception to one of the phrases in the doxology, Te trina Deitas, which he considered blasphemous. Yet the phrase remained until the revision of hymns by Pope urban viii, when it was changed to the present Te summao Deitas. The original, Te trina Deitas, may be found at the end of Thomas Aquinas's sacris solemniis.

Bibliography: f. j. e. raby, A History of Christian-Latin Poetry from the Beginnings to the Close of the Middle Ages (Oxford 1953) 182183. u. chevalier, Repertorium hymnologicum (Lou-vain-Brussels 18921921) 2:548549. Analecta hymnica 50:180209. g. m. dreves, Hymnologische Studien zu Venantius Fortunatus und Rabanus Maurus (Munich 1908). j. julian, ed., A Dictionary of Hymnology (New York 1957) 1:645; 2:993994. m. britt, ed., The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal (new ed. New York 1948) 361364. j. connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy (Westminster MD 1957) 142145. j. szÖvÉrffy, Die Annalen der lateinischen Hymnendichtung (Berlin 196465) 1:214, 222, 226.

[g. e. conway]