Rabanus Maurus and the Veni Creator

Raban Maur (left), supported by Alcuin (middle), dedicates his work to Archbishop Otgar of Mainz (Right) wikipedia.org/public domain

February 4th is the traditional memorial of the the erudite Frankish monk, Rabanus Maurus (+856), one of the most learned men of his age, unfortunately and inaccurately called the ‘Dark Ages’, but which were, on the contrary, filled with much light.

Rabanus is famous for many things – his holy life, first and foremost, his teaching and forming of innumerable disciples, his numerous commentaries of Scripture, his compilation of an early encyclopedia, and the composition of beautiful hymns, amongst which stands out the Veni Creator Spiritus which celebrates the seven-fold gifts of the Third Person of the Trinity, in words and melody that are hauntingly beautiful.

Peruse the words of the hymn, pray over them, and invoke the help and grace of the Holy Spirit for yourself, your loved ones, the world.

As the psalm and prayer have it:

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, enkindle in them the fire of They love. And they shalt renew the face of the earth.

Latin text English version
Veni Creator Spiritus,

mentes tuorum visita,

imple superna gratia,

quae tu creasti, pectora.

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come

from thy bright heav’nly throne;

come, take possession of our souls,

and make them all thine own.


Qui diceris Paraclitus,

donum Dei altissimi,

fons vivus, ignis, caritas,

et spiritalis unctio.

Thou who art called the Paraclete,

best gift of God above,

the living spring, the living fire,

sweet unction and true love.


Tu septiformis munere,

dextrae Dei tu digitus

tu rite promissum Patris,

sermone ditans guttura.

Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace,

finger of God’s right hand;

his promise, teaching little ones

to speak and understand.


Accende lumen sensibus,

infunde amorem cordibus,

infirma nostri corporis

virtute firmans perpeti.

O guide our minds with thy blest light,

with love our hearts inflame;

and with thy strength, which ne’er decays,

confirm our mortal frame.


Hostem repellas longius

pacemque dones protinus;

ductore sic te praevio

vitemus omne noxium.

Far from us drive our deadly foe;

true peace unto us bring;

and through all perils lead us safe

beneath thy sacred wing.


Per te sciamus da Patrem

noscamus atque Filium,

te utriusque Spiritum

credamus omni tempore.

Through thee may we the Father know,

through thee th’eternal Son,

and thee the Spirit of them both,

thrice-blessed three in One.

Deo Patri sit gloria,

et Filio qui a mortuis

Surrexit, ac Paraclito,

in saeculorum saecula.

All glory to the Father be,

With his coequal Son;

The same to thee, great Paraclete,

While endless ages run.

Amen. Amen.


Here is the traditional chant version:


And a polyphonic rendition, based on the chant melody, by Palestrina: