After First and Second Vespers on Solemnities of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we sing the ancient hymn to the Mother of God in Latin, “Sub Tuum Praesidium” – Beneath thy Protection, or Patronage. However, behind this translation of the title lies a wealth of meaning in other ancient languages: compassion, mercy, tenderness of heart.
So we sang this classic antiphon on Tuesday and Wednesday just past. The earliest form of the text is on an Egyptian papyrus dating from the third century. And the literal English version of the third century Greek text is:
‘Under your mercy we take refuge, Mother of God! Our prayers, do not despise in necessities, but from the danger deliver us, only pure, only blessed’.
May you be enabled to take refuge beneath the tender, compassionate heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and find solace and help in all your need. May God bless you.
(from the SBVM website)