Edward Caswall was born in 1814, at Yately, in Hampshire, where his father was a clergyman. In 1832, he went to Brasenose College, Oxford, and in 1836, took a second-class in classics. His humorous work, "The Art of Pluck," was published in 1835; it is still selling at Oxford, having passed through many editions. In 1838, he was ordained Deacon, and in 1839, Priest. He became perpetural Curate of Stratford-sub-Castle in 1840. In 1841, he resigned his incumbency and visited Ireland. In 1847, he joined the Church of Rome. In 1850, he was admitted into the Congregation of the Oratory at Birmingham, where he has since remained. He has published several works in prose and poetry.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >
Ave verum corpus natum. Anon. [Holy Communion.] The text will be found in Daniel, ii. p. 327. Also as No. 213 in Mone’s Collection; with the heading, In elevatione Corporis Christi, and the statement that a Reichenau manuscript of the 14th century, says "Pope Innocent composed the following salutation" ("Salutationem sequentem composuit Innocentius Papa"), and "this prayer has three years of indulgences granted by Pope Leo" ("haec oratio habet tres annos indulgentiaruni a dom. Papa Leone"). Levis, Anecdota sacra, Turin, 1789, p. 107, gives the text with the variation Esto nobis praestantior virtus in examine, instead of Esto nobis praegustatum mortis in examine. It is in J. M. Horst's Paradisus Animae (ed. Cologne, 1644, p. 321), Sect. V., "De Sacram. Eucharistiae," as a private devotion at the elevation of the Host in the Mass ("sub elevatione "). It is also in Kehrein, No. 157. See Ave Christi Corpus verum, for a cognate hymn at the elevation of the Chalice. [Rev.W. A. Shoults, B.D.]
Translations in common use:—
1. Hail to Thee! true Body sprung. By E. Caswall. First published in his Lyra Catholica, 1849, p. 249, in 10 lines; and again, slightly altered, in his Hymns & Poems, 1873, p. 162. In the Roman Catholic hymnals the original translation is generally used. In the People's Hymnal1867, No. 177, we have a cento from this translation of Caswall, that by J. R. Beste, and others.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)