Latin Catechesis on Mary

Here is an inscription on a stained glass window that I saw in St. Martin’s Church, in the city of Sneek (pronounced more like ‘snake’), the Netherlands. In beautiful Latin verse it teaches us about the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Too bad few people read Latin anymore.

The poetic words are from a hymn; first I’ll type them out below in Latin, then I’ll follow with a literal translation, then a poetic one.

Ut vitrum non laeditur
sole penetrante,
sic illaesa creditur
Virgo post et ante.

A fairly literal translation would be:

As glass is not harmed
by the sun’s penetration,
so she is held inviolate –
the Virgin after and before.

The only poetic translation I have been able to find online has it as:

As the sun-beam through the glass
passeth, but not staineth;
thus the Virgin, as she was,
Virgin still remaineth.

However you render it, it is a beautiful verse that reminds us of the fact that Mary was a virgin before, during, and after the birth of her Son. And you can read my previous post on the topic (also featuring a stained glass window) to be reminded of why this belief of ours is important!

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