January 2–6, college students from all around the world gathered at the 25th Annual FOCUS Conference (Fellowship of College University Students) in St. Louis, Missouri.
While the group’s Facebook page shows countless highlights from the 5-day event – from a surprise trivia night with Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus on the hit TV show The Chosen, to enrapt audiences listening to popular speakers such as Curtis Martin and Jason Evert—the clip from the conference that seems to be causing the biggest stir on social media isn’t of a professional guest star; the moment doesn’t even appear to have been planned. Rather, the footage of 17,000+ young people singing “Salve Regina” a cappella is definitely sending some serious shivers.
The footage was captured on Catholic author, speaker, and worship leader Emily Wilson’s smartphone. Within a few days of being shared, it received 2.3K likes, 73K views and over a hundred comments. She described the moment:
“In the event that in our dark and sorry world, your heart needs to hear 17,000+ college students singing the Salve Regina, I recorded this for you! The FOCUS Catholic SEEK conference happened this week and it was anointed, joyful, and excellent beyond what I can describe. Thank you, FOCUS, for what you are doing to build up the Church through the hearts of these amazing young people.”
Salve Regina is a classic Marian hymn of the Church that dates back to the year 1000. Translated from Latin, it means Hail, Holy Queen. Below are the Latin and English versions of this beautiful prayer and song:
Salve Regina in Latin
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiæ,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevæ,
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui gloriosæ Virginis Matris Mariæ corpus et animam, ut dignum Filii tui habitaculum effici mereretur, Spiritu Sancto cooperante præparasti: da, ut cuius commemoratione lætamur; eius pia intercessione, ab instantibus malis, et a morte perpetua liberemur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.)
Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) in English
Hail holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us.
And after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
Almighty, everlasting God, who by the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary to become a worthy dwelling for Thy Son; Grant that we who rejoice in her commemoration may, by her loving intercession, be delivered from present evils and from the everlasting death.