Ambrosius (St. Ambrose), second son and third child of Ambrosius, Prefect of the Gauls, was born at Lyons, Aries, or Treves--probably the last--in 340 A.D. On the death of his father in 353 his mother removed to Rome with her three children. Ambrose went through the usual course of education, attaining considerable proficiency in Greek; and then entered the profession which his elder brother Satyrus had chosen, that of the law. In this he so distinguished himself that, after practising in the court of Probus, the Praetorian Prefect of Italy, he was, in 374, appointed Consular of Liguria and Aemilia. This office necessitated his residence in Milan. Not many months after, Auxentius, bishop of Milan, who had joined the Arian party, died; and m… Go to person page >
Translator: Edward Caswall
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 >
Aeterna Christi munera, Apostolorum gloriam. This form of the hymn [Aeterna Christi munera, Et martyrum victorias] is an adaptation for "Apostles" as distinct from “Martyrs." It is in numerous Breviaries, including the Roman, York, Sarum and others. The same text, however, is not strictly maintained. The lines of the original which are thus variously altered are 1-8 and 21-28, followed by a doxology not in the original and varying in the respective Breviaries in which the hymn is given.
Translations in common use:—
1. The Lord's eternal gifts. By E. Caswall, first published in his Lyra Catholica, 1849, p. 204, and in his Hymns & Poems, 1873, p. 108. This is in use in a few Roman Catholic hymnals for schools and mission services. Altered to "The Eternal Spirit's gifts" it is also No. 296 in Chope's Hymnal, 1864.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)