WDTPRS – St. John the Baptist: “guide the minds of all the faithful”

Let’s have a look at the…


Deus, qui beatum Ioannem Baptistam suscitasti,
ut perfectam plebem Christo Domino praepararet,
da populis tuis spiritalium gratiam gaudiorum,
et omnium fidelium mentes dirige
in viam salutis et pacis.

I like the sound of the ends of the clauses – suscitasti… praepararet… gaudiorum and then a big change with salutis et pacis.   Remember!  These prayers are to be sung!   Suscitasti is, as you now recognize, a syncopated form, short for suscitavi­sti, which would have diminished the rhythmic coherence in the first three clauses.


O God, who raised up blessed John the Baptist,
so that he would prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord,
grant to your peoples the grace of spiritual joys
and guide the minds of all the faithful into the way of salvation and peace.


O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace

This modern Collect of the 1970 Roman Missal is based on the Collect of olden days:

Deus, qui praesentem diem honorabilem nobis in beati Ioannis nativitate fecisti: da populis tuis spiritualium gratiam gaudiorum; et omnium fidelium mentes dirige in viam salutis aeternae.

Perhaps the terrible wars of the 20th century drove the composers of the newer version to include the petition for peace.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. jaykay says:

    “to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,”

    Ummm, much as I support the new ICEL in general, I think I would have preferred to use “a people”, which I think is actually a more accurate translation of the Latin noun used, plebs (plebem). Also, the use of “nation” might lead one to believe John was only preparing the Jewish nation for the Lord. Well, that was his immediate purpose, of course, but he undoubtedly knew that the Lord was/is/shall be for all peoples and nations. Hence he said: “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the WORLD” i.e. all nations.

    Or maybe I’m just reading a bit too much into it. Anyway, happy name day, Father. And to me, also.

  2. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Thank you! This is very interesting – have you ever discussed this sort of ‘neo-Latin’ (if that’s a possible term for it) generally, or could you (or a reader) recommend a good (online) discussion?

    The distinction between “populis tuis” (plural) and “omnium fidelium” (also plural, but of an embracing rather than distinguishing sort) in “the Collect of olden days” seems to be extrapolated in “perfectam plebem” – as singular perhaps doing double duty in first indicating pre-Incarnational Israel as in some sense a ‘plebs inter populi’ and then (as jaykay suggests) the grafting of all into Israel by way of her Messiah. I wonder if St. Paul’s accent on “gentes cum plebe ejus” in his Letter to the Romans 15:10 was in the mind of these Neo-Latinists? And if that petition for peace was especially recalling 10:15 from the same letter: “Quam speciosi pedes evangelizantium pacem, evangelizantium bona” as citing of Isaiah 52:7, “Quam pulchri super montes pedes annuntiantis et praedicantis pacem, annuntiantis bonum, praedicantis salutem, dicentis Sion: Regnabit Deus tuus”?

    Good to be so moved to think of St. John distinctly pursuing that ‘praeparatio’ in the time of the Incarnation, before the Passion, and being joined in it by the Apostles and other followers and successors after the Resurrection!

    And happy name day to each of you (and all others)! (I wonder if John R.R. Tolkien, whose grandfathers were both named John, is named after St. John the Baptist in particular? And/or whether Edith and he named their first son, John, after him in particular? In any case, he certainly knew the interesting Old English sermon for this Feast published (with modern English translation) in the edition of the Blickling Homilies, now scanned in the Internet Archive.)

  3. DonL says:

    And he cried out for Baptisms of “repentance”. Remember those?

  4. John Nelson says:

    Doggone. I first read gaudiorum as gladiorum. That got me going!

  5. TDPelletier says:

    I just noticed that, in an Ambrosian Missal from 1712, the Oratio super populum is identical to the “Collect of olden days” cited above, except that it ends with “in viam salutis, et pacis”.

  6. TDPelletier says:

    I realized that salvation and peace are both mentioned by John’s father in his canticle (Luke 1) : “salutis plebi eius” and ” in viam pacis”

  7. Mike says:

    Fr James Martin thinks The Bapizer’s method of repentance and then Communion was changed by Christ into Communion then repentance, per Zaechaeus. Presto! Now we sing (hold hands) “All are Welcome!”

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