Vexilla Regis prodeunt
Vexilla Regis prodeunt. Venantius Fortunatus* (c. 540 – early 7th century).
This hymn (Poem 2.6), with ‘Pange lingua gloriosi proelium certaminis’* (Poem 2.2), and ‘Crux benedicta nitet’ (Poem 2.1) were the first Christian hymns to the Cross, composed by Fortunatus to celebrate the arrival of relics of the Holy Cross from Byzantium in the convent of the Holy Cross in Poitiers in the 570s.
Fortunatus articulated ideas and images that had been current since earliest Christian times, influencing Christian hymnody and poetry thereafter because of his vivid and appealing style. This hymn survived the liturgical changes of the Council of Trent (1545-1563), and is associated not only with the...
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