"Jesu, hail! supremely Good, On the branches of the Rood, How thy limbs, all anguish-worn, Bitterly were scorched and torn, Thou that but too gracious art!" (B.P.)
(Hail, O Queen, i.e. Virgin Mary) is the name of an antiphony long in use in the Roman Catholic Church. Composer and date are unknown, though it is attributed to either Peter, bishop of Compostella in the 10th century, or to Hermannus Contractus, a Benedictine, in the 11th. The Chronicles of Spires state that St. Bernard, when at Spires in the capacity of apostolical delegate, added the closing words, "O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria!" by which it received its present form (Chronic. de Urbe Spirensi, lib. 12). Pope Gregory directed, in 1239, that it be recited in the daily offices after the completorium (q.v.). In modern usage, it is employed during the interval between Trinity and Advent Sundays; and it also forms a part of the usual private devotions of believers, especially on Saturdays. In many dioceses the ritual in use directs the recitation of the Salve Regina at funerals, after the burial service, with a view to supplicate the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin for the souls in purgatory. St. Bernard discusses the subject matter of this antiphony in his works, laying special emphasis on the mercy and power of Mary as here set forth (Opera [Antw. 1616], p. 1756, s.v.).