Celtic and Old English Saints          16 October

* St. Gall of Ireland
* St. Kiara of Kilkeary
* St. Lull of Mainz
* St. Conogan of Quimper
* St. Eliphius of Toul

St. Gall of Ireland, Abbot and Hermit, Enlightener of Switzerland

Below is the text of a hymn in praise of Saint Gall, recorded by the 
medieval music ensemble, Altramar, in their collection, Celtic Wanderers: 
The Pilgrim's Road. The group have recorded a number of CDs featuring 
materials relating to Irish and other saints. The Celtic Wanderers disc also 
includes a number of selections from the Feast of Saint Killian, as well as 
an instrumental piece, Puella Christi, in honour of Saint Brigid, which 
derives from a 12th-century Austrian manuscript. I have reproduced the Latin 
text and translation of the Saint Gall hymn from the sleevenotes which 
accompany the recording.

Prosa: Dilecte Deo Galle

Text and Melody: Notker Balbulus "Liber Hymnorum" MS St Gall 318 (10thc.)

Notker Balbulus was a monk at the monastery of St Gall, a famous centre of 
learning and culture in medieval Germany and Switzerland. He was the 
compiler of a Liber Hymnorum, a collection of medieval sequences. These were 
musical settings of texts called prosae, composed of double versicles, each 
with its own melody. Dilecte Deo Galle is written in honour of Saint Gall; 
like Notker's other sequences, this prosa text was set to pre-existing 
melodies of unknown origin. The melody is characterized by the repetition of 
short motives, many of which are built around the interval of a third, a 
trait shared by Irish chant. The fact that Notker's music teacher was an 
Irish monk makes this fact particularly interesting.

Dilecte deo, Galle, perenni
hominibusque et coetibus angelorum
qui Jesu Christi oboediens arduae suasioni
Praedia patris gremium matris
conjugis curam ludicra nati
Sprevisti pauperem pauper dominum sequens
Et crucem gaudis praetulisti lubricis
Sed Christus pretio centuplicatio
Haec compensat ut dies iste testatur,
dum tibi nos omnes filios dulci subdit affectu
Sueviamque suavem patriam tibi, Galle, donavit
Nection et judicem in caelis
apostolorum choro junctum te fecit sedere.
Te nunc suppliciter precamur,
ut nobis Jesum Christum, Galle, postules favere
Et locum corporis ejus pace repletas
Ac tuas supplices crebra prece subleves
Ut tibi debitam honorificentiam
Laetabundi semper mereamur solvere
O Galle, Deo dilecte.

O Gallus, beloved by eternal God,
by men and assemblies of angels,
obeying the difficult admonition of Jesus Christ,
you despised farm lands of your father,
the lap of your mother
the care of a spouse and the joys of a child;
as a pauper you followed the Lord who was a pauper
and you preferred the cross to deceitful joys,
but with a hundred-fold reward,
Christ will compensate you for these things,
when that day is revealed,
when with sweet affection He gives all of us as children to you
and presents Suebia to you, Gallus,
as a beloved homeland
and indeed He has made you as a judge
in the heavens and you are joined with the choir of apostles.
Now we humbly pray to you that you, Gallus,
might beseech Jesus Christ to watch over us
and that you might fill the place of his body with peace
and that you might lift up your suppliants with frequent prayer
that full of joy we may be worthy
to discharge the honour owed to you,
O Gallus, beloved of God.



The Monastery and Library of St Gall

A paper from the Ir.Ecc.Record on the Monastery and Library of St Gall. It's 
long but well worth reading, as the author introduces many of the scholars 
of St Gall and the volumes that the Library contained. He also includes some 
very entertaining glosses from the scribes, both complaining about their 
labour and warning anyone tempted to make off with their books.

Below is a wonderful paper on the Monastery and Library of Saint Gall from 
the Irish Ecclesiastical Record of 1894. I am unable to reproduce the 
footnotes and some of the foreign language material, so please refer to the 
original volume for the complete article. The author is the journal's German 
expert, Father J.F.Hogan, whose paper on Saint Colman of Austria I also 
recently reprinted. Father Hogan contributed a series of papers on Irish 
monastic foundations in Germany to the I.E.R. which I am currently working 
my way through and hope to bring online before long. In this paper he 
introduces us to the successors of Saint Gall and the reputation for 
learning which their monastery enjoyed. Along the way we will meet some of 
Saint Gall's most famous sons, including  the Irish scholar Moengal, the 
hymnographer Notker Balbulus and the physician Notker Medicus, among many 


Reply via email to