Alma Redemptoris Mater

Madonna by Raphael, an example of Marian art

Alma Redemptoris Mater (Ecclesiastical Latin: [ˈalma redɛmpˈtoris ˈmatɛr]; English: Loving Mother of our Saviour) is a Marian hymn, written in Latin hexameter, and one of four seasonal liturgical Marian antiphons sung at the end of the office of Compline (the other three being Ave Regina cælorum, the Regina cœli and the Salve Regina).

History

Hermannus Contractus (also called Herman the Cripple; 1013–1054) is said to have authored the hymn based on the writings of Saints Fulgentius, Epiphanius, and Irenaeus of Lyon.[1] It is mentioned in The Prioress's Tale, one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Formerly it was recited at compline only from the first Sunday in Advent until the Feast of the Purification (2 February). It was translated into English by John Henry Newman in "Tracts for the Times", No. 75 (Kindly Mother of the Redeemer).[2]