The Mellifluous Doctor

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, reformer of the Cistercians, is known as “the Mellifluous Doctor” because of his eloquent preaching.

In the monastery we often sang the Gregorian chant setting of his hymn Jesu Dulcis Memoria.  Below is a video of the Cambridge Singers singing it in a beautiful arrangement by Tomas Luis de Victoria.

Jesu, dulcis memoria,
dans vera cordis gaudia:
sed super mel et omnia
ejus dulcis praesentia.

Nil canitur suavius,
nil auditur jucundius,
nil cogitatur dulcius,
quam Jesus Dei Filius.

Jesu, spes paenitentibus,
quam pius es petentibus!
quam bonus te quaerentibus!
sed quid invenientibus?

Nec lingua valet dicere,
nec littera exprimere:
expertus potest credere,
quid sit Jesum diligere.

Sis, Jesu, nostrum gaudium,
qui es futurum praemium:
sit nostra in te gloria,
per cuncta semper saecula.
Amen.

The sweet memory of Jesus
Giving true joy to the heart,
But more than honey and all things [does so]
His sweet presence.

Nothing more delightful is sung,
Nothing more pleasing heard,
Nothing sweeter thought,
Than Jesus, the Son of God.

O Jesus, hope of the penitent,
How gracious you are to those who ask
How good those who see;
But what [are you] to those who find?

No tongue may tell,
No letter express;
He who has experience of it can believe
What it is to love Jesus.

O Jesus, may you be our joy,
You who are our future reward.
May our glory be in you
Throughout all eternity.

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