John M. Neale's life is a study in contrasts: born into an evangelical home, he had sympathies toward Rome; in perpetual ill health, he was incredibly productive; of scholarly temperament, he devoted much time to improving social conditions in his area; often ignored or despised by his contemporaries, he is lauded today for his contributions to the church and hymnody. Neale's gifts came to expression early–he won the Seatonian prize for religious poetry eleven times while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1842, but ill health and his strong support of the Oxford Movement kept him from ordinary parish ministry. So Neale spent the years between 1846 and 1866 as a warden of Sackvi… Go to person page >
Audi, benigne Conditor. St. Gregory the Great. [Lent.] This hymn is given in St.Gregory's Works (see Migne's Patrologia, tom. 78, col. 849, 850.) In the Roman Breviary,1632 it occurs, almost unaltered, as the hymn at Vespers on the Saturday before the First Sunday in Lent, to the Saturday before Passion Sunday (the last exclusively), when the Ferial Office is said, Sundays included. In the Hymnarium Sarisburiense London, 1851, it is given as the hymn at Lauds on the First Sunday in Lent, and daily to the 3rd Sunday. In York and St. Alban’s, it is the hymn for the first four Saturdays in Lent and the following Sundays at Vespers. At Canterbury (from a manuscript at Lambeth, No. 538, of the 15th century, which states "these are the offices to the observance of which every monk of Christ Church, Canterbury, is held bound"), it is on Saturdays and Sundays, in Lent, at Vespero. [Rev. W. A. Shoults, B.D.]
Translations in common use:—
7. 0 Merciful Creator, hear, To us in pity, &c. This rendering in Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861 and 1875, Pott's Hymns, 1861, Church Hymns, 1871, &c, is a cento from the translations of Neale, Chambers, and others. It is said in the Index to Hymns Ancient & Modern to be by the " Rev. J. M. Neale, D.D., and Compilers: from the Latin." It seems from Mr. Ellerton's note in Church Hymns , that the Rev. F. Pott was one of those "Compilers," and that to him this arrangement is mainly due.
-- Excerpt from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)