This is my 22nd entry in the Lenten Hymn-of-the-Day Project. Today, March 12th, is also an important day for all church musicians, as it is the feast of St. Gregory the Great.
Pope Gregory I (Latin: Gregorius I; c. 540 – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was Pope from 3 September 590 to his death in 604. Gregory is well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as pope. He is also known as St. Gregory the Dialogist in Eastern Christianity because of his Dialogues. For this reason, English translations of Eastern texts will sometimes list him as "Gregory Dialogus".
Throughout the Middle Ages he was known as “the Father of Christian Worship” because of his exceptional efforts in revising the Roman worship of his day.
He was the first of the popes to come from a monastic background. Gregory is a Doctor of the Church and one of the Latin Fathers. Immediately after his death, Gregory was canonized by popular acclaim. The Protestant reformer John Calvin admired Gregory and declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good pope. He is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.
The mainstream form of Western plainchant, standardized in the late 9th century, was attributed to Pope Gregory I and so took the name of Gregorian chant. The earliest such attribution is in John the Deacon's 873 biography of Gregory, almost three centuries after the Pope's death, and the chant that bears his name "is the result of the fusion of Roman and Frankish elements which took place in the Franco-German empire under Pepin, Charlemagne and their successors.
All that being so, today's words are attributed to St. Gregory, with the translation from the Latin by T. A. Lacey (1853-1931), most famous for his translation of "O come, O come, Emmanuel".
The name of the tune is "Audi benigne", it's Latin title.