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Pray this prayer to Baby Jesus in these days after Christmas


Bernard of Clairvaux offers us a prayer that focuses on the sweetness of Jesus

A hymn attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux makes for a beautiful prayer, especially in these days after the feast of Christmas, when we celebrate the Holy Name of Jesus.

Referred to by its first line, the “Jesu dulcis memoria” prayer speaks twice of the sweetness of Jesus — his presence is sweeter than honey, St. Bernard says. There’s nothing sweeter, nothing more delightful, nothing more pleasing than the thought of Jesus.

We are quick to call a baby sweet, so this is a nice prayer to use as we stop before the manger. The prayer speaks of how good Jesus is to those who seek him, but leaves to the imagination the inexpressible richness of not only seeking but also coming to possess him.

And beyond our praise of Jesus, we have a big request for the tender Babe: Be our joy!

Here is an English rendition of the prayer as well as the original Latin. A bonus is a particular chant setting of the prayer, which moves along with a joyous rhythm.


The sweet memory of Jesus
Giving true joy to the heart:
But more than honey and all things
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 to those who seek you;
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.



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 futurus praemium:
sit nostra in te gloria,
per cuncta semper saecula.


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