Anima Christi

The original Anima Christi is a Latin prayer, written in the 14th century, which states many traditional Catholic beliefs about the Eucharist.

The author is not known, but the text is now usually ascribed to John XXII (1249-1334).

St. Ignatius of Loyola included it in his Spiritual Exercises, and because of this some people thought it was written by him, and it is sometimes called the Aspirations of St. Ignatius. However  publication dates show that this was not possible.

A number of different choral settings of the Latin words have been composed for choirs with multiple voice parts (eg SATB, TTB, etc). I have not found any commonly-used unison (ie one voice), or a multi-voice setting that is simple enough to be used by a congregation.   However one by Mons Mario Frisna is quite widely known - the score is currently available here.

The prayer has been translated into English by many people. Perhaps the most well-known translation is the hymn Soul of my Savour. The translator in this case is unknown, but the text is almost-always set to a tune by William Joseph Maher, which is called ANIMA CHRISTI (ie by the same name as the original Latin prayer).

There are a number of other English language hymns, based on translations of the same prayer but with different lyrics, that have been given the title "Anima Christi".  For example, this one by Suzanne Toolan RSM, this one by Donna Cori Gibson, this one by the Bukas Palad music ministry  - and many others.


This section may contain affiliate links: I earn from qualifying purchases on these. Free downloads are provided where possible (eg for public domain items).

(*) As noted above, many English-language hymns have been given the title Anima Christi - so you need to check purchased versions carefully to ensure that they have the language and/or translation you need.

Example settings of the original Latin text

Choir with light orchestral backing, setting by Marco Frisina:

Unaccompanied choir, setting by Hunter Eisenmenger

Duet with zither accompaniment, Marco Frisina tune:

Spoken version of the prayer:

Words / Lyrics

Anima Christi, sanctifica me.
Corpus Christi, salva me.
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.
Aqua lateris Christi, lava me.
Passio Christi, conforta me.
O bone Jesu, exaudi me.
Intra tua vulnera absconde me.
Ne permittas me separari a te.
Ab hoste maligno defende me.
In hora mortis meae voca me.
Et iube me venire ad te,
Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te,
In saecula saeculorum.

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