Full in the Panting Heart of Rome / God Bless our Pope

This hymn was written by the Spanish-born, English educated Roman Catholic priest, Nicholas Patrick Wiseman (1802-1865), who was the first Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster - adapted from a text in the Scottish Psalter, 1615. It was written in 1850 at the time when papal infallibility was declared - and also when Emancipation was gained by Catholic people living in England.

With meter 88.88 with refrain, it has been set to a number of different tunes. The most popular is WISEMAN , composed by English Roman Catholic priest Charles Austin Cox (1853-1916) (ref).

It was included in many American-produced Roman Catholic hymn-books in the 19th and early 20th centuries (set to various other tunes), but did not become overly popular outside of England - and it is not printed so frequently today. It is in UK-based Brompton Oratory Catholic Hymn Book published by Gracewing.

An alternative version, keeping only the first line and title, was written by English journalists Joanna Bogle and Fiorella Nash for the Pope's visit to England in 2010. This has the same meter as the original, but was set to the tune HOLY GHOST BALHAM by music director Jeremy de Satgé - sheet music is available here.


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Choir with organ, tune WISEMAN

Congregation and choir with praise band:

Solo singer with guitar backing and effects / echo editing:


Original version

Full in the panting heart of Rome,
Beneath th'apostle's crowning dome,
From pilgrims' lips that kiss the ground,
Breathes in all tongues only one sound:

'God bless our Pope, God bless our Pope,
God bless our Pope, the great, the good.'

The golden roof, the marble walls,
The Vatican's majestic halls,
The note redouble, till it fills
With echoes sweet the seven hills:

Then surging through each hallowed gate,
Where martyrs glory, in peace, await,
It sweeps beyond the solemn plain,
Peals over Alps, across the main:

From torrid south to frozen north,
That wave harmonious stretches forth,
Yet strikes no chord more true to Rome's,
Than rings within our hearts and homes:

The following verse is usually omitted, now that the telegraph is no longer in use:
For like the sparks of unseen fire,
That speak along the magic wire,
From home to home, from heart to heart,
These words of countless children dart.

2010 Revised version

Full in the panting heart of Rome
The pilgrim’s and the stranger’s home
Our voices rise to God in prayer
With faithful Christians gathered there.

God bless our Pope,
God bless our Pope,
God bless our Pope,
The great, the good.

Almighty God, whose sacred word
The great Apostle Peter heard
Who guides with ever-faithful hand
Your holy Church in every land.

O Lord of every age and place
Peter’s successor asks your grace
Abundant faith and strength provide
Inspire and lead, protect and guide.

O God of light and God of truth
The hope of age, the strength of youth
To whom the holy martyrs pray
Renew and bless your Church today.

Where Peter is, the Church shall be
As Christ once taught in Galilee
Your saints join us to sing your praise
From now until the end of days.

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