Saturday, 28 March 2015

"All glory, laud, and honor" Saint Theodulph, ? -821

SOME of our best hymns were originally written many centuries ago in the Latin language, and have been brought into our English hymnody by devout modern translators. In the year A. D. 820 Theodulph, the Bishop of Orleans, was imprisoned at Metz by King Louis, the Debonnaire, who was the son of Chaflemagne. The Bishop had been falsely accused of disloyalty to his king, but he bore with patience his captivity and the ignominy brought upon him by suspicious gossipers. 

While in prison his meditations were upon the King of kings, and, taking the beautiful story of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem as his theme, he wrote a Palm Sunday hymn that has survived to the Christian Church these eleven hundred years : 

All glory, laud, and honor to Thee, Redeemer, King, 
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring. 

Our translation was made by the Rev. Dr. John Mason Neale. 

An ancient tradition has it that the Bishop trained a chorus within the cloisters to sing his hymn with beautiful effect; and once they were singing it thus while King Louis and his court were passing on their way to the Cathedral. So enchanted was the king by its beauty that he commanded that the Bishop be released from his prison at once. The following year he died; but his church canonized him because of his preeminent piety. And to-day he is known as "Saint Theodulph."  


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