The division of this hymn will follow Fr. Britt and Fr. Caswall. The Breviary of 1960 divides it somewhat differently. Part I is used for Vespers, Part II for Matins and Part III for Lauds on the Feast of St. Martina. This hymn is not used in the Ordinary Form.
Lift to the skies, great Rome, Martina’s name,
Her praises celebrate with glad accord;
Martina, high in merit, Virgin blest,
And martyr of her Lord.
Beauty and youth, the joys of happy home,
Ancestral palaces, and noble birth;
All these were hers, —all these, for Jesu’s sake,
She counted nothing worth.
Her wealth she shar’d among the poor of Christ,
Content with seeking better wealth above;
Herself she gave to her immortal King,
Too happy in his love.
The agonizing hooks, the rending scourge,
Shook not the dauntless spirit in her breast;
With torments rack’d, she tastes from angel hands
A sweet celestial feast.
In vain they cast her to the ravening beasts;
Calm at her feet the lion crouches down;
Smit by the sword, at length she passes on
To her immortal crown.
Now with the Saints Martina sits in bliss;
To her the Church below its tribute pours,
And from her consecrated altars, prayer
With odorous incense soars.
Protect thy native land, O Spirit blest!
And give to Christendom sweet days of peace;
Cause the shrill trumpet, and the shock of war,
Amid her realms to cease.
And gathering her kings beneath the Cross,
Regain Jerusalem from its proud foe;
Avenge the guiltless blood; and with thine arm
The hostile strength o’erthrow.
O Pillar and defence of thine own Rome!
Her boast, her crown, her glory, and her praise!
Accept the fervent worship which to Thee
With solemn rite she pays.
Expel false worldly joys, and fill us, Lord,
With thy irradiating beam divine;
Who with thy suffering martyrs present art,
Great Godhead one and trine.
Words: Pope Urban VIII, 1632.; tr. Fr. Edward Caswall, C.O., 1849.
Tune: “Artavia” Edward John Hopkins, 19th C.
The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.