Immaculate Heart Servants of Mary:
The Sub Tuum Praesidium: Under Your Mantle Holy Mother
A New Rendition by Jessika

Under Your Mantle Holy Mother

Holy Mother Mary,
Under your Mantle,
We take our refuge.
We take our refuge.

Holy Mother Mary,
Be with Us Now,
And in the Hours of Our Need.
Lead us always to freedom.

Glorious and Blessed Mother
Under your Mantle,
We take our refuge.
We take our refuge.

Short Form for Chanting

Holy Mother Mary,
Under your Mantle,
We take our refuge.
We take our refuge.

History of the Sub Tuum Praesidium:

The Prayer the Sub Tuum Praesidium (trans: Under Your Protection), is first found in the Coptic Christmas Liturgy of the third century and dates approximately to 250 .A.D. It is used to this day in the Greek liturgical tradition. Versions of this prayer also occur in the Ambrosian, Roman, and Byzantine and Coptic liturgies of today and in numerous languages. Mary is referred to in this prayer as the "Mother of God."

(According to Roman Catholic history): "The title, Mother of God, seems to have first been used in liturgical and devotional practice by Christians in Egypt.... There was some controversy about the use of this title since the pagan goddess, Isis, was referred to as Mother of God. However, there are radical differences between the myths about divine births to pagan goddesses (e.g. Isis, mother of Horus) and the gospel accounts of Jesus' incarnation in Mary. For example, the Gospels portray Jesus as conceived by Mary in Spirit while pagan myths portray the conception of gods in passion and removed from the mysterious destiny of the Incarnation.

Nevertheless, the title, Mother of God, was used in an Alexandrian creedal formula. When challenged in 322, Patriarch Peter of Alexandria defended its legitimacy. Use of the title, Theotokos was formally sanctioned by the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431. The Church declared that both Divine and human natures were united in the person of Jesus, the son of Mary. Hence, Mary may be called Theotokos, since the son she bore according to the flesh, Jesus, is truly one of the Divine persons of the Trinity. This Marian title is really a Christological statement, which affirms that the second person of the Trinity, who was born into history as fully human, is really 'God with us'.

Theotokos derives from the Greek terms: Theos / 'God'; and tiktein / 'to give birth'. Mary is the Theotokos, the one who gave birth to God. This single word sums up the meaning of Luke's phrase: 'Mother of the Lord' (Lk 1:43) and represents a counterpoint to John's teaching that the 'Word was made flesh' (Jn 1:14). Usually the term is translated into English as 'Mother of God'. However, Greek-speaking Christians also used the equivalent Meter Theiou.

Quoted From:
International Marian Research Institute

Our Lady of Czestochowa

Our Lady of Czestochowa

I first heard of this painting Our Lady of Czestochowa, from my former Mother-in-law who was a Jewish survivor of the Nazi occupation of Czestochowa, Poland and the concentration camps. She was 12 years old at the time of her committment to the camp and she and only one sister survived. She lost 10 brothers and sisters and her mother and father. She called this painitng the Black Madonna. The title remained in my mind for some years leading to my finding this picture on the web. Mary in this portrayal appears to me to be a loving protectress full of wisdom and compassion, so I have used it here.

Christus Rex.Org reports:"The two slashes on the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa were inflicted by Hussite soldiers in the fifteenth century. Legend says that numerous artists tried to repair the painting by covering over the slashes, but each time, the slashes re-appeared."

[According to tradition]... the Black Madonna was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist; and it was while painting the picture, Mary told him about the life of Jesus, which he later incorporated into his gospel.

The next time we hear of the painting is in 326 A.D. when St. Helen found it in Jerusalem and gave it to her son and had a shrine built for it in Constantinople. During a battle, the picture was placed on the walls of the city, and the enemy army fled. Our Lady saved the city from destruction.

The picture was owned by many other people until 1382 when invading Tartars attacked a Prince Ladislaus' fortress, where the painting was located. A Tartar's arrow lodged into through the throat of the Madonna. The Prince transferred the painting to a church in Czestochowa, Poland.

In 1430, the church was invaded and a looter struck the painting two times with his sword, but before he could strike it another time, he fell to the ground in agony and pain, and died. The sword cuts and the arrow wound are still visible on the painting.

Our Lady of Czestochowa (the Black Madonna) was soon made Queen and Protector of Poland. In 1920, Russians were invading Poland, when they saw an image of Our Lady in the clouds, and they withdrew on seeing the image.

Miraculous events such as spontaneous healings have occurred for centuries on making pilgrimage to the portrait.

Some say the painting is known as the Black Madonna because of the soot residue that discolors the painting. Centuries of votive lights and candles burning in front of the painting are the cause of the soot." Others say she was originally painted Black.

Quoted from:
Czestochowa, Poland " The Black Madonna"

Notes on Myself and the Translation Above

While I do not believe Mary is the Mother of God, I do honor her, and receive from her Spirit in my own devotions. I relate to Mary as an enlightened teacher, guide and Spiritual Mother whose presence and consciousness is available to me when I call upon her. Devotion to Mary brings me closer to the Christ within my own being and to Jesus Christ. Mary assists me in developing more love and compassion. She is a part of my daily devotion and in times of need, I do take refuge in her presence.

The above translation of the Sub Tuum Praesidium (Latin) reflects my devotion to Mary. Some languages add several lines to this ancient prayer or interpret the text differently as in the Polish, French and Latin versions below.

I am not certain of how many versions exist. Some versions leave out the second stanza of our refuge and add stanzas changing the meaning somewhat of all. For your information, the Latin terms and definitions including derivative root information that were used in the translation above are listed below with examples of some other translations.

Love and Light and May the Blessings of a Devotion to Mary Be Yours Also, Jessika

English (Red) & Latin (Black) Line by Line

Sub tuum praesidium
Under thy protection
confugimus, confugimus,
our refuge, our refuge
Sancta Dei Genitrix,
Holy God Mother
Sancta Dei Genitrix.
Holy God Mother

Nostras deprecationes,
our intercessor (ward off by prayer)
ne despicias, ne despicias
do not ignore (look to) us
in necessitatibus nostris,
in need ours

Sed a periculis cunctis
but our perile whole
libera nos semper,
free us always
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.
Virgin Glorious and Blessed
Sub tuum praesidium
under your protection
confugimus, confugimus,
our refuge, our refuge

English Roman Catholic Translation
We fly to your patronage,

O holy Mother of God;
despise not our prayers in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.


Pod Twoja; obrone; uciekamy sie;,
s'wie;ta Boz.a Rodzicielko,
naszymi pros'bami racz
nie gardzic' w potrzebach naszych,
ale od wszelakich z?ych przygód
racz nas zawsze wybawiac',
Panno chwalebna i b?ogos?awiona.
O Pani nasza, Ore;downiczko nasza,
Pos'redniczko nasza, Pocieszycielko nasza.
Z Synem swoim nas pojednaj,
Synowi swojemu nas polecaj,
swojemu Synowi nas oddawaj. Amen.

Polish Latin Version
Version Sub tuum praesidium confugimus,
sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes
ne despicias in necessitatibus;
sed a periculis conctis libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta!
*Domina nostra, Mediatrix nostra, Advocata nostra!
Tuo filio nos reconcilia,
tuo filio nos commenda,
tuo filio nos repraesenta! Amen.
(*notice: the last four lines do not seem to be translated)

Polish to English
We turn to you for protection,
holy Mother of God.
Listen to our prayers
and help us in our needs.
Save us from every danger,
glorious and blessed Virgin.

Sous l'abri de ta miséricorde, nous nous réfugions, Sainte Mère de Dieu. Ne méprise pas nos prières, quand nous sommes, dans l'épreuve, mais de tous les dangers, délivre-nous toujours, Vierge glorieuse, Vierge bienheureuse.

English Translation of the French
Under the shelter of your mercy, we take refuge, Saint Mother of God. Do not mistake our prayers when we are in the test, but of all the dangers always deliver us, Glorious virgin, happy Virgin.

Sotto la tua protezione troviamo rifugio, santa Madre di Dio: non disprezzare le suppliche di noi che siamo nella prova, e liberaci da ogni pericolo, o Vergine gloriosa e benedetta.

English Translation of the Italian
Under your protection we find shelter, saint Mother of God: not to despise our supplication of we that we are in the test, and liberate us from every danger, or glorious and blessed Virgin.

Latin Definitions of Terms
sub: sub prep. (1) with abl.: [underneath , under; close under, at the foot of]; in time, [at, near to]; [in the power of, under; under cover of]; (2) with acc.: [to (or along) the underside of; up under, down under; along under; close up to]; in time, [towards, just before], also [immediately after]; [into the power of].

tu: tu pron. of the 2nd person; strengthened forms in -te , -met, temet; [thou, you]; plur. vos, etc. [ye, you].

um: a *um 1 masc sing acc; a *um 1 neut sing nom; a *um 1 neut sing acc; n *um : masc.; n *um : neut. nom. sing. 2; n *um : masc. acc.sing. 2 ; n *um : neut. acc.sing. 2; n *um : masc. acc. sing. 4

praesidium: i n. [sitting before; protection , help, support]. Milit., [guard, escort; a garrison; a post].

confugimus: confugio -fugere -fugi [to fly, take refuge; to have recourse to]; confugium -i n. [a place of refuge]. *imus 3-5 1p pr act ind you and I see, we are seeing.

sancta: -a -um, [consecrated, holy, sacred; pure, virtuous]. Adv. sancte, [solemnly, conscientiously].

dei: adoro -are [to speak to]; esp. [to address] a deity , in worship or entreaty; sometimes [to ask] a deity for a thing.

Genitrix: tricis f. [one who brings forth , a mother]

Nostras: tra -trum [our , ours; of us, to us, for us]; m. pl. nostri, [our people].
nostras -atis adj. [of our country , native].

deprecationes: deprecatio -onis f. (1) [an attempt to avert by entreaty , deprecation]. (2) [an entreaty against a person], for his punishment; deprecator: oris m. (1) [one that begs off , an intercessor]. (2) [one that pleads for].dep·re·cate tr.v. de·pre·cat·ed, de·pre·cat·ing, de·pre·cates

[Latin deprecar, deprecat-, to ward off by prayer : de, de- + precar, to pray; see prek- in Indo-European Roots.]

ne: [not , that not, lest]; 'ne..quidem', [not even, not..either].

despicias: despicio -spicere -spexi -spectum [to look down , regard from above; to look down upon, despise]. Pres. partic. act. despiciens, [contemptuous]. Perf. partic. pass. despectus -a -um, [despised, contemptible].

[Middle English despisen, from Old French despire, despis-, from Latin despicere: de-, de- + specere, to look; see spek- in Indo-European Roots.]

in: prep. (1) with acc. , [into, on to, towards, against]; of time, [until]; 'in omne tempus', [for ever]; 'in diem vivere', [to live for the moment]; of tendency or purpose, [for]; in adverbial phrases, indicating manner or extent: 'in universum', [in general]; 'in vicem', 'in vices', [in turn]. (2) with abl., [in, on, among]; of time, [in, at, within]; of a person, [in relation to, in the case of].

necessitatibus: necessitas [inevitability , necessity, urgency]; plur. [requirements, necessary expenses]. Transf. [intimate connection, friendship, relationship].

sed: (set) [but , however]; 'sed enim', [but in fact]; confirming, [and indeed, and what is more].
a- a *a 1 fem sing abl; a *a 1 neut plur acc; a *a 1 neut plur nom; a *a 1 fem sing nom n *a neut. nom. pl. 2 n *a fem. nom. sing. 1 n *a : neut. acc. pl. 2 n *a : fem. abl. sing. 1 n *a neut. acc. pl. v *a 1 sing. pres. imperative act. : (you) GO!

periculis: periculosus : hazardous, dangerous. periculum : danger, risk.

cunctis: cunctus : all, all collectively, the whole.

libera: liber libera, liberum : free, independent, unrestricted.

nos: us

semper: always, ever.

Virgo: maiden, virgin, young girl

gloriosa: gloria : fame, renown, glory; glorifico : to glorify, adorn, exalt.; glorificus : glorious, full of glory; glorior : to glory, boast, pride oneself; glorior : to pride oneself, boast, glory in

et: both ... and.

benedicta. bene adv.; comp. melius; superl. optime; [well , rightly, properly]; 'bene rem gerere'[to succeed]; with adj. or adv., [thoroughly, very]; as an exclamation, [good, excellent]; 'benefacis', [I am obliged to you]; 'bene facta' (or benefacta), [good deeds, benefits]. bene : well (melior : better / optime : best )[dictata : things dictated, lessons, present]

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