Gregory I., St., Pope. Surnamed The Great. Was born at Rome about A.D. 540. His family was distinguished not only for its rank and social consideration, but for its piety and good works. His father, Gordianus, said to have been the grandson of Pope Felix II. or III., was a man of senatorial rank and great wealth; whilst his mother, Silvia, and her sisters-in-law, Tarsilla and Aemiliana, attained the distinction of canonization. Gregory made the best use of his advantages in circumstances and surroundings, so far as his education went. "A saint among saints," he was considered second to none in Rome in grammar, rhetoric, and logic. In early life, before his father's death, he became a member of the Senate; and soon after he was thirty and ac… Go to person page >
Tu Trinitatis Unitas. St. Gregory the Great? [Friday. Morning.] (Stanza ii. is "Jam [Nam] lectulo consurgimus.") Mone, No. 279, and i. p. 372, gives this as probably by St. Gregory (it is not assigned to him by the Benedictine editors), and cites it as in a manuscript of the 8th century at Trier, one of the 9th century, also at Trier, &c. By Hinemar in his De unâ et non trinâ Deitate, 857, it is ascribed to St. Ambrose; but it is not assigned to him by the Benedictine editors nor by Biraghi in his Inni sinceri e Carmi de Sant' Ambrogio, 1862. Daniel gives the text at i. No. 25, and at iv. p. 38 cites it as in a Rheinau manuscript of the 10th century, ranking it as one of the hymns of the 7th or 8th century. Among the British Museum manuscripts it is found in three 11th century Hymnaries of the English Church. It is included in the Roman (Venice, 1478, and the revision of 1632), Sarum, York, Aberdeen, Paris of 1643, and other Breviaries, as a hymn on Friday at Matins and Nocturns. The text is also in Wachernagel i. No. 6, Hymnarium Sarisburiense, 1851, p. 54; in Cardinal Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae, 1838 and 1865; and G. M. Dreves's Hymnarius Moissiacensis, 1888, from a 10th century manuscript. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
Translations in common use:—
1. Dread Unity in Trinity. By W. J. Copeland, in his Hymns for the Week, &c, 1848, p. 40. This is given in the Hymnary, 1872, in an abridged and altered form, as "Dread Trinity in Unity."
2. O Three in One and One in Three. In the Antiphoner and Grail, 1880, p. 20.
Translations not in common use:—
1. Thou great mysterious Three and One. Primer, 1706.
2. Holy Being, One and Three. Bishop R. Mant. 1837.
3. Thou Unity of Trinity. J. D. Chambers, in his Psalter, 1852.
4. May the dread Three in One, Who sways. Cardinal Newman. 1853.
5. Dread Triune Mystery. Hymnarium Anglicanum.
6. O Thou, Who dost all nature sway. E. Caswall. 1849.
7. Thou Trinity of Unity. J. D. Chambers. 1857.
8. O Tbree in One, eternal Cause. F. Trappes. 1865.
9. Thou Godhead One in Persons Three. J. Wallace. 1873.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Tu Trinitatis Unitas. [Trinity Sunday.] This cento was added to the Roman Breviary at the revision of 1568, and is found at p. 436 of the edition published at Rome in 1570, as the hymn at Lauds on Trinity Sunday. It consists of stanza i. of the hymn noted above, and of stanza iii. of the hymn ”Aeterna coeli gloria" ("Ortus refulget lucifer"); with an added doxology. This form is repeated in the 1632 and later editions of the Roman Breviary, and in Cardinal Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae, 1838 and 1865. Translated as:—
1. Thou great mysterious Three and One. Primer. 1706.
2. Three in One, and One in Three, Sov'reign of the universe. Bishop Doane, 1824.
3. Thou Trinity in Unity. Bishop J. Williams, 1845.
4. Thrice-holy One, All-glorious Trine. W. J. Copeland. 1848.
5. 0 Thou! Who dost all nature sway. E. Caswall. 1849.
6. Thou Three in One, Who mightily. W. J. Blew. 1852-55.
7. Thou Godhead One in Persons Three. J. Wallace. 1874.
8. Blest Three in One, and One in Three. F. Campbell, circa 1850, from the Campbell manuscript into 0. Shipley's Annus Sanctus. 1884. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]