Adoro te devote is about the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament in which bread and wine are transubstantiated into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It also talks about Jesus on the Cross, and makes reference to the medieval symbol of the pelican.
Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quæ sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subiicit,
Quia te contemplans totum deficit.
Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur.
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius;
Nil hoc verbo veritátis verius.
In cruce latebat sola Deitas,
At hic latet simul et Humanitas,
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro pœnitens.
Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor:
Deum tamen meum te confiteor.
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere.
O memoriale mortis Domini!
Panis vivus, vitam præstans homini!
Præsta meæ menti de te vívere,
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.
Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine:
Cujus una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.
Jesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
Oro, fiat illud quod tam sitio:
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beátus tuæ gloriæ. Amen
Hidden God, devoutly I adore Thee,
Truly present underneath these veils:
All my heart subdues itself before Thee,
Since it all before Thee faints and fails.
Not to sight, or taste, or touch be credit,
Hearing only do we trust secure;
I believe, for God the Son has said itó
Word of Truth that ever shall endure.
On the Cross was veiled Thy Godhead's splendor,
Here Thy Manhood lieth hidden too;
Unto both alike my faith I render,
And, as sued the contrite thief, I sue.
Though I look not on Thy wounds with Thomas,
Thee, my Lord, and Thee, my God, I call:
Make me more and more believe Thy promise,
Hope in Thee, and love Thee over all.
O Memorial of My Savior dying,
Living Bread, that givest life to man;
May my soul, its life from Thee supplying,
Taste Thy sweetness, as on earth it can.
Deign, O Jesus, Pelican of heaven,
Me, a sinner, in Thy Blood to lave,
To a single drop of which is given
All the world from all its sin to save.
Contemplating, Lord, Thy hidden presence,
Grant me what I thirst for and implore,
In the revelation of Thy essence
To behold Thy glory evermore.
Translated by Justice John O'Hagan, 19th century.
I devoutly adore Thee, O hidden Deity, who truly liest hidden under these figures. My whole heart subjects itself to Thee, for it finds itself wholly lost in contemplating Thee.
Sight, touch, and taste are each deceived in Thee, but by hearing only can we safely believe: I believe whatever the Son of God hath said; nothing can be more true than this word of Him who is the Truth.
On the Cross was hidden Thy Divinity alone, but here Thy Humanity also lies concealed; nevertheless believing and confessing both, I pray for what the penitent thief did pray.
Thy Wounds, I do not see, as Thomas did, yet do I confess Thee to be my God: make me ever more and more believe in Thee, put my hope in Thee, and love Thee.
O Memorial of the Lordís death, O Living Bread that givest life to man: grant to my soul ever to live on Thee, and that Thou mayest ever taste sweet to it.
O loving Pelican, Jesus Lord, cleanse me, unclean, in Thy Blood, one drop of which hath power to save the whole world from all its sin.
O Jesus, Thou whom veiled I now behold, I beseech Thee that what I so thirst for may happen: that beholding Thee with Thy countenance unveiled, I may be happy in the vision of Thy glory.