Adam of Saint-Victor


Sequence VIII: on Thomas of Canterbury

Gaude, Sion, et laetare,

Voce, voto iucundare

Sollemni laetitia!

Tuus Thomas trucidatur,

Pro te, Christe, immolatur

Salutaris hostia.

Rejoice and be happy, Zion, with voice and prayer celebrate

with solemn joy! Your Thomas is slain, t he healing victim is sacrificed for you, Christ.

Archipraesul et legatus

Fuit Thomas consecratus,

Nullo tamen est elatus

Honoris fastigio;

Dispensator summi regis

Et divinae doctor legis

Pro tutela sui gregis

Trusus est exsilio.

Thomas was consecrated archbishop and legate, but lofty honor did not overcome him with pride; the highest king’s treasurer and the doctor of divine law suffered exile to teach his flock.

Telo certans pastorali,

Ense cinctus spiritali

Triumphare meruit.

Hic pro Dei sui lege

Et pro suo more grege

Decertare studuit.

Battling with the shepherd’s spear, girdled with a spiritual sword he deserved to triumph. He was eager to fight for the law of his God and to die for his flock.

Tunc rectore desolatam

Et pastore viduatam

Se plangebat Cantia;

Versa vice plausu miro

Exsultavit tanto viro

Senonensis Gallia.

England wept to have lost its leader and to have been deprived of its shepherd; but, in return, France rejoiced, marvelously appreciating such a man.


Quo absente infirmatur,

Infirmata perturbatur,

Pertubata conculcatur

Libertas ecclesiae.

Sic nos, pastor, reliquisiti

Te configens cruci Christi

Nec a vero recessisti

Tramite iustitiae.

With him absent, the freedom of the church was weakened, shaken, and trodden underfoot. Thus you have left us, shepherd, binding yourself to Christ’s cross, without having turned from the path of justice.

Quondam coetu curiali

Primus eras et regali

Militans palatio;

Plebis aura favorali

Et, ut mos est, temporali

Plaudebas praeconio.

Once, in royal meetings, you were the leader, battling for royal power; approved of by the people, you approved, as is the custom, of the transitory praise.

Consequenter es mutatus,

Praesulatu sublimatus,

Novus homo reparatus

Felici commercio;

Ex adverso ascendisti

Et te murum obiecisti,

Christi sacrificio.

Then you were transformed, raised to the office of bishop, becoming a new man in a joyful enterprise; you rose out of adversity, interposing yourself as a wall, you offered your head as a sacrifice for Christ.

Carnis tuae morte spreta

Triumphalis es athleta;

Palma tibi datur laeta,

Quod testantur insueta

Miranda miracula:

Per te visus caecis datur,

Claudis gressus instauratur,

Paralysis effugatur,

Vetus hostis propulsatur

Et peccati macula.

Scorning the death of your flesh you are a triumphant athlete; the joyful palm is granted to you, as unusual, wondrous miracles testify; through you the blind can see, the halt walk, paralysis takes flight, the ancient enemy is driven off, as is the spot of sin.

Cleri gemma, clare Thoma,

Motus carnis nostrae doma

Precum efficacia,

Ut in Christo, vera vitae

Capiamus praemia.

Gem of a cleric, noble Thomas, conquer the motion of our flesh with your prayers, so that, rooted in Christ, we may receive the rewards of the true life.