The Hours of the Conception of the Virgin

This page and the digital edition of this text are works in progress.

The following is a transcription and translation of the “Hours of the Conception of the Virgin” from Walters Art Museum MS W.282. The “Conception” begins on folio 7r, pictured below, and was evidently one of the texts added, around 1500, to the prayer book at the request of its second owner, Jean of Ricaumez. He’s pictured below, kneeling in the right margin.

Walters Art Museum MS W.282, folio 7 recto

I’ll start by transcribing and translating the text that appears within the marginal and central illuminations on this folio, noting as I do how image and text mix and merge with one another.[1]I owe gratitude to dear friends – Carson Koepke, Kristen Herdman, Sophia Richardson, and Gilbert Jones – for their help with this translation. All remaining faults are, of course, my own. The banderole unfurling from Jean of Ricaumez’s hands reads “O mater dei memento mei,” or, “O mother of God, remember me.”

Jean directs his prayer to the central image, which depicts God in a papal tiara looking down on the Virgin Mary, who is surrounded by miniature objects and more banderoles. This image is an iconographic type known as the “Virgin of the Litanies” because the objects and words surrounding the Virgin are drawn from litanies – or lists of prayerful invocations – directed to her. While a Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary was approved in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V, a central proponent of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, litanies circulated prior to this official approval and included the names listed here.[2]Robert S. Miola, Early Modern Catholicism: An Anthology of Primary Sources (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 275.

Folio 7 recto

tota pulcra es

amica mea et macula

non est in te

electa ut sol

stella maris

pulcra ut luna

porta celi:

sicut lilium inter spinas

exaltata cedrus

plantatio rosae

turris david cum propugnaculis

oliva speciosa

puteus aquarum viventium

virga iesse floruit

speculum sine macula

fons ortorum

ortus conclusus

civitas dei

you are completely beautiful

my friend, and there is

no fault in you

bright as the sun

star of the sea

beautiful as the moon

gateway of heaven

just as the lily among the thorns

exalted cedar

rose garden

tower of David with bulwarks

olive tree

well of living waters

branch of Jesse flourished

mirror without stain

source of gardens

enclosed garden

city of God.

Now I’ll transcribe and translate the text that begins beneath the Virgin of the Litanies that begins with the French rubric “Heures de la conception nostre dame” or, “Hours of the conception of our lady,” before continuing on in Latin.

Heures de la conception nostre dame / Domine labia mea / aperies. Et os meum annunciabit laudem / tuam / Deus in adiutorium / meum intende. Domine ad ad-

Hours of the conception of our lady. Lord, you will open my lips. And my mouth will proclaim your praise. God, come to my assistance. Lord,

Folio 7 verso

Walters Art Museum MS W.282, folio 7 verso

iuvandum me festina. Gloria / patri [et filio, et spiritui sancto.] Sicut erat [in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.] Alleluya. Hymnus. /

make haste to help me. Glory to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit. Even as it was in the beginning, and now, and ever, and in ages of ages Amen. Alleluia. Hymn.

Benedicta conceptio matris / nunc festinetur devotio. adsit / dies leticie letetur tota regio servi/ens regi glorie non obstante ob/iurgio detrahente invidi[a]. versus.

May the blessed conception of the mother be prepared with haste, may devotion be present, may the day of joy be made glad, the entire realm serving the king of glory without quarrel getting in the way, [or] envy detracting. Verse.

Immaculata <altissimy> in conspectu permansisti. / Responsorium. Dei genetrix intercede pro nobis. / Domine exaudi orationem meam. Et / clamor meus ad te veniat. Oremus.

You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high. Responsory. Mother of God, intercede for us. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui pro salutis humane / generis carnem gloriose vir/ginis marie assumere dignatus / es: et ipsam sine macula concipi/endam in matrem preelegisti concede / propicius. Ut qui de tua conceptio/ne que fuit nostre redemptionis nec/non temporum plenitudinis exor/dium letantur: Eius piis interces/sionibus ab instantibus malis et periculis atque morte perpetua pre-

God, you who for the salvation of mankind saw fit to assume the flesh of the glorious Virgin Mary, and pre-elected her to be conceived into motherhood without sin, mercifully grant that those who rejoice in her conception (which was the beginning of our redemption and also of the fulness of times), may be delivered from present evils and dangers and everlasting death by her pious intercessions.

At the bottom of folio 7 verso is an inscription, perhaps from Jean of Ricaumez, in a hand that doesn’t match that of the scribe of the central text. The inscription appears to be a correction to the line “Immaculata altissimy in conspectu permansisti” (which I’ve translated to “You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high”). In other manuscript and printed books of hours that contain the “Hours of the Conception of the Virgin,” the words in this line appear in a different order – thus, perhaps, why this reader made an intervention in the margins. Additionally, we see that on the line referenced in this correction, there is a double slash and the word “altissimy” squeezed in by the writer of this inscription (I’ve noted this addition with angle brackets <>). Not content to simply add in the missing word, however, the editor has also intervened to correct the placement of “in conspectu” and “immaculata” in the margins.

Correction written in a different hand than the main text (that of Jean of Ricaumez? Of his son?) at the bottom of Walters Art Museum MS W.282 folio 7 verso.

Inconspectu altisimy / immaculata permansisty

You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high.

Folio 8 recto

Walters Art Museum MS W.282, folio 8 recto

servantur. Per dominum nostrum / ihesum christum. Amen. Domine / exaudi [orationem meam]. Et clamor meus [ad te veniat]. Oremus

Through our lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui nos patrem et matrem / honorare precipisti miserere / clementer animabus patrum et ma/trum nostrorum eorumque peccata / dimitte nosque cum illis in eterne cla/ritatis gaudio fac vivire. Per do[minum nostrum Ihesum Christum filium tuum. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate spiritus sancti deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen]. Benedicamus domino. deo [gratias]. Ad primam.

God, who instructed us to honor our father and mother, mercifully have compassion for the souls of our father and mother and forgive their sins and make us live with them in the joy of eternal glory. Through our lord Jesus Christ your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, God, through all ages of ages. Amen. Let us praise the lord. Thanks be to God. At Prime.

Deus in adiutorium / meum intende. Domine / ad adiuvandum me / festina. Gloria patri [et filio, et spiritui sancto.] Sicut erat [in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen]. Hymnus.

God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me. Glory to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit. Even as it was in the beginning, and now, and ever, and in all ages of ages. Amen. Hymn.

Erubescant insensati que respuunt / celebrare misteria tam sacre / diei adfestivare quod fuerunt co/pulati vir cum sua muliere: pessime / sunt advisati sic volentes deviare. +

Shame on the senseless persons who refuse to celebrate the mysteries of such a sacred day because man and his wife were joined: They are ill advised who deviate thus.

Versiculus. Immaculata .et cetera [altissimi in conspectu permansisti]. Domine exaudi [orationem meam. Et clamor meus ad te veniat]. Oremus. Oratio.

Verse. You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray. Prayer.

At the bottom of folio 8 recto is a longer inscription explicitly tied via a special mark to a specific passage on the page. I’ve typed a plus sign next to this line in my transcribed text, above, to signal where this mark falls in the text. Though I haven’t managed to transcribe the entire inscription, I suspect that it may constitute a correction to or elaboration of the central text. The last four lines of the inscription again repeat the corrected order of “In conspectu altissimi immaculata permansisti,” followed by the corresponding line “Dei genetrix intercede pro nobis. Oremus.”

Inscription at the bottom of Walters Art Museum MS W.282, folio 8 recto

Conceptio tua dominy ? / virgo ? / ? / mx?[3]This may indicate a year in roman numerals. / ? inconspectu / altissimy inmacula/ta permansisty. Dey geny/trix intercede pro nobis. Oremus.

? You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high. Mother of God, intercede for us. Let us pray.

Folio 8 verso

Walters Art Museum MS W.282, folio 8 verso

Deus qui pro salutis humane [generis carnem gloriose virginis marie assumere dignatus es: Et ipsam sine macula concipiendam in matrem preelegisti concede propicius. Ut qui de tua conceptione que fuit nostre redemptionis necnon temporum plenitudinis exordium letantur: Eius piis intercessionibus ab instantibus malis et periculis atque morte perpetua preservantur. Per dominum nostrum ihesum christum Amen. Domine exaudi orationem meam. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. Oremus.]

God, who for the salvation of mankind saw fit to assume the flesh of the glorious Virgin Mary, and pre-elected her to be conceived into motherhood without sin, mercifully grant that those who rejoice in her conception (which was the beginning of our redemption and also of the fulness of times), may be delivered from present evils and dangers and everlasting death by her pious intercessions. Through our lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui nos patrem [et matrem honorare precipisti miserere clementer animabus patrum et matrum nostrorum eorumque peccata dimitte nosque cum illis in eterne claritatis gaudio fac vivire. Per dominum nostrum Ihesum Christum filium tuum. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate spiritus sancti deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen]. Tierce.

God, who instructed us to honor our father and mother, mercifully have compassion for the souls of our fathers and mothers and forgive their sins and make us live with them in the joy of eternal glory. Through our lord Jesus Christ your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, God, through all ages of ages. Amen. Tierce.

Deus in adiutorium / meum intende. Domine / ad adiuvandum me fe/stina. Gloria patri et [filio, et spiritui sancto]. Sicut erat [in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen]. Hymnus

God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me. Glory to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit. Even as it was in the beginning, and now, and ever, and in all ages of ages. Amen. Hymn.

Conceptio laudabilis ab ange/lis nunciata marie tam mi/rabilis in conceptu preservata est / unde venerabilis ecclesia illustrata / et ipsius miraculis et laudibus ho/norata. Responsorium. Immaculata .et cetera [altissimi in conspectu permansisti]. Domine / exaudi [orationem meam]. Et clamor meus [ad te veniat]. Oremus.

The praiseworthy conception announced by the angels, from which the venerable church was enlightened and honored by her miracles and praises, was preserved in such wonderful form. Responsory. You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui pro salutis humane [generis carnem gloriose virginis marie assumere dignatus es: et ipsam sine macula concipiendam in matrem preelegisti concede propicius. Ut qui de tua conceptione que fuit nostre redemptionis necnon temporum plenitudinis exordium letantur: Eius piis intercessionibus ab instantibus malis et periculis atque morte perpetua preservantur. Per dominum nostrum ihesum christum Amen. Domine exaudi orationem meam. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. Oremus].

God, you who for the salvation of mankind saw fit to assume the flesh of the glorious Virgin Mary, and pre-elected her to be conceived into motherhood without sin, mercifully grant that those who rejoice in her conception (which was the beginning of our redemption and also of the fulness of times), may be delivered from present evils and dangers and everlasting death by her pious intercessions. Through our lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui nos patrem et matrem [honorare precipisti miserere clementer animabus patrum et matrum nostrorum eorumque peccata dimitte nosque cum illis in eterne claritatis gaudio fac vivire. Per dominum nostrum Ihesum Christum filium tuum. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate spiritus sancti deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.]

God, who instructed us to honor our father and mother, mercifully have compassion for the souls of our fathers and mothers and forgive their sins and make us live with them in the joy of eternal glory. Through our lord Jesus Christ your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, God, through all ages of ages. Amen.

Deus in adiuto Midi.[4]This canonical hour would more typically have been known as “sext,” but takes place around midday, thus its replacement with the French word “midi.” / rium meum intende. / Domine ad adiuvan/dum me festina. Gloria / patri [et filio, et spiritui sancto.] Sicut erat in prin/cipio, et nunc, et semper [et in saecula saeculorum]. Hymnus.

Noon. God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me. Glory to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit. Even as it was in the beginning, and now, and ever, and in all ages of ages. Hymn.

Walters Art Museum MS W.282, folio 9 recto

Ave regina celorum inter omnes / mitissima. Ave decus angelo/rum inter omnes pulcerrima simul / et archangelorum omni laude di/gnissima que concepta viciorum[5]vitiorum / fuit sine mundissima. Versiculus.

Hail queen of heaven, mildest of all. Hail glory of the angels, most beautiful of all, and likewise of archangels the most worthy of all praise, conceived without [even] the cleanest of blemishes. Verse.

Immaculata in conspectu .et cetera [altissimi permansisti]. Domine / exaudi [orationem meam]. Et clamor meus [at te veniat]. Oremus.

You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui pro salutis humane [generis carnem gloriose virginis marie assumere dignatus es: et ipsam sine macula concipiendam in matrem preelegisti concede propicius. Ut qui de tua conceptione que fuit nostre redemptionis necnon temporum plenitudinis exordium letantur: Eius piis intercessionibus ab instantibus malis et periculis atque morte perpetua preservantur. Per dominum nostrum ihesum christum Amen. Domine exaudi orationem meam. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. Oremus].

God, you who for the salvation of mankind saw fit to assume the flesh of the glorious Virgin Mary, and pre-elected her to be conceived into motherhood without sin, mercifully grant that those who rejoice in her conception (which was the beginning of our redemption and also of the fullness of times), may be delivered from present evils and dangers and everlasting death by her pious intercessions. Through our lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui nos patrem et matrem [honorare precipisti miserere clementer animabus patrum et matrum nostrorum eorumque peccata dimitte nosque cum illis in eterne claritatis gaudio fac vivire. Per dominum nostrum Ihesum Christum filium tuum. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate spiritus sancti deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.]

God, who instructed us to honor our father and mother, mercifully have compassion for the souls of our fathers and mothers and forgive their sins and make us live with them in the joy of eternal glory. Through our lord Jesus Christ your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, God, through all ages of ages. Amen.

Deus in ad None. / iutorium meum intende / Domine ad adiuvan/dum me festina. Gloria / patri [et filio, et spiritui sancto.] Sicut [erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et saecula saeculorum. Amen]. Hymnus

None. God, come to my assistance.Lord, make haste to help me. Glory to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit. Even as it was in the beginning, and now, and ever, and world without end. Amen. Hymn.

Tuum corpus et viscera que / dominum portaverunt vir/ginalia ubera que ipsum et la/ctaverunt beata sunt et opera tua / et qui crediderunt que[6]would expect “quod,” “quia,” or “quoniam” perhaps sine labe con/cepta post et ante remanserunt. Versiculus. Immaculata .et cetera [altissimi in conspectu permansisti]. Domine exaudi [orationem meam].

Your body and womb that bore the Lord, and the virgin breasts that nursed him, and your works are blessed, and they have remained after and before who believed that you were conceived without stain. Verse. You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high. Lord, hear my prayer.

Walters Art Museum MS W.282, folio 9 verso

et clamor meus [ad te veniat]. Oremus. Oratio.

and let my cry come to you. Let us pray. Prayer.

Deus qui pro salutis humane [generis carnem gloriose virginis marie assumere dignatus es: et ipsam sine macula concipiendam in matrem preelegisti concede propicius. Ut qui de tua conceptione que fuit nostre redemptionis necnon temporum plenitudinis exordium letantur: Eius piis intercessionibus ab instantibus malis et periculis atque morte perpetua preservantur. Per dominum nostrum ihesum christum Amen. Domine exaudi orationem meam. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. Oremus.]

God, you who for the salvation of mankind saw fit to assume the flesh of the glorious Virgin Mary, and pre-elected her to be conceived into motherhood without sin, mercifully grant that those who rejoice in her conception (which was the beginning of our redemption and also of the fullness of times), may be delivered from present evils and dangers and everlasting death by her pious intercessions. Through our lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui nos patrem [et matrem honorare precipisti miserere clementer animabus patrum et matrum nostrorum eorumque peccata dimitte nosque cum illis in eterne claritatis gaudio fac vivire. Per dominum nostrum Ihesum Christum filium tuum. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate spiritus sancti deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen]. A vespres.

God, who instructed us to honor our father and mother, mercifully have compassion for the souls of our fathers and mothers and forgive their sins and make us live with them in the joy of eternal glory. Through our lord Jesus Christ your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, God, through all ages of ages. Amen. At vespers.

Deus in adiutorium me/um intende. Domine / ad adiuvandum me / festina. Gloria patri [et filio, et spiritui sancto.] Sicut erat [in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen]. Hymnus.

God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me. Glory to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit. Even as it was in the beginning, and now, and ever, and in all ages of ages. Amen. Hymn.

Salve mater salvatoris que / es soror insignita. Salve quia / deum paris angelorum spes et vita. / Salve virgo singularis vera sacra / margareta. Salve quia stella maris es sine labe concepta. Versiculus. Immacula/ta altissimi in conspectu .et cetera [permansisti]. Domine exaudi [orationem meam]. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. Oremus.

Hail mother of the savior who is the distinguished sister. Hail because you, hope and life, bear the god of angels. Hail singular virgin, true sacred pearl. Hail because you are the star of the sea, conceived without stain. Verse. You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui [pro salutis humane generis carnem gloriose virginis marie assumere dignatus es: et ipsam sine macula concipiendam in matrem preelegisti concede propicius. Ut qui de tua conceptione que fuit nostre redemptionis necnon temporum plenitudinis exordium letantur: Eius piis intercessionibus ab instantibus malis et periculis atque morte perpetua preservantur. Per dominum nostrum ihesum christum Amen. Domine exaudi orationem meam. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. Oremus.] Deus qui nos [patrem et matrem honorare precipisti miserere clementer animabus patrum et matrum nostrorum eorumque peccata dimitte nosque cum illis in eterne claritatis gaudio fac vivire. Per dominum nostrum Ihesum Christum filium tuum. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate spiritus sancti deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen]. Completorium.

God, you who for the salvation of mankind saw fit to assume the flesh of the glorious Virgin Mary, and pre-elected her to be conceived into motherhood without sin, mercifully grant that those who rejoice in her conception (which was the beginning of our redemption and also of the fullness of times), may be delivered from present evils and dangers and everlasting death by her pious intercessions. Through our lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray. God, who instructed us to honor our father and mother, mercifully have compassion for the souls of our fathers and mothers and forgive their sins and make us live with them in the joy of eternal glory. Through our lord Jesus Christ your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, God, through all ages of ages. Amen. Compline.

Converte nos deus salu/taris noster. Et averte / iram tuam a nobis. Deus in adiutorium / meum intende. Domine

Convert us, god our savior. And avert your anger from us. God, come to my assistance. Lord,

Walters Art Museum MS W.282, folio 10 recto

ad adiuvandum me festina. / Gloria patri [et filio, et spiritui sancto.] Sicut [erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et saecula saeculorum. Amen]. Hymnus

make haste to help me. Glory to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit. Even as it was in the beginning, and now, and ever, and in all ages of ages. Amen. Hymn.

Patris dei conceptio est nostre / redemptionis potissima in/ceptio atque reparationis non init[i]um / sed exemptio antique contagionis / affuit in principio ipsius creatio/nis. Responsorium. Immaculata .et cetera [altissimi in conspectu permansisti]. Domine ex/audi [orationem meam]. Et clamor meus [ad te veniat]. Oremus.

The conception of God the father is the most powerful beginning of our redemption and renewal; not the beginning but the taking away of the ancient contagion that was present at the beginning of creation itself. Responsory. You have remained immaculate in the sight of the most high. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui pro salutis humane [generis carnem gloriose virginis marie assumere dignatus es: et ipsam sine macula concipiendam in matrem preelegisti concede propicius. Ut qui de tua conceptione que fuit nostre redemptionis necnon temporum plenitudinis exordium letantur: Eius piis intercessionibus ab instantibus malis et periculis atque morte perpetua preservantur. Per dominum nostrum ihesum christum Amen. Domine exaudi orationem meam. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. Oremus].

God, you who for the salvation of mankind saw fit to assume the flesh of the glorious Virgin Mary, and pre-elected her to be conceived into motherhood without sin, mercifully grant that those who rejoice in her conception (which was the beginning of our redemption and also of the fullness of times), may be delivered from present evils and dangers and everlasting death by her pious intercessions. Through our lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come to you. Let us pray.

Deus qui nos patrem et matrem [honorare precipisti miserere clementer animabus patrum et matrum nostrorum eorumque peccata dimitte nosque cum illis in eterne claritatis gaudio fac vivire. Per dominum nostrum Ihesum Christum filium tuum. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate spiritus sancti deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen].

God, who instructed us to honor our father and mother, mercifully have compassion for the souls of our fathers and mothers and forgive their sins and make us live with them in the joy of eternal glory. Through our lord Jesus Christ your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, God, through all ages of ages. Amen.

References

References
1 I owe gratitude to dear friends – Carson Koepke, Kristen Herdman, Sophia Richardson, and Gilbert Jones – for their help with this translation. All remaining faults are, of course, my own.
2 Robert S. Miola, Early Modern Catholicism: An Anthology of Primary Sources (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 275.
3 This may indicate a year in roman numerals.
4 This canonical hour would more typically have been known as “sext,” but takes place around midday, thus its replacement with the French word “midi.”
5 vitiorum
6 would expect “quod,” “quia,” or “quoniam” perhaps
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