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Sed signifer Sanctus Michael repraesentet eas [animas] in lucem sanctam

English translation: show, present

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Latin term or phrase:repraesento
English translation:show, present
Entered by: Luis Antonio de Larrauri
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14:27 Feb 24, 2009
Latin to English translations [PRO]
Religion / Roman Catholic doctrine
Latin term or phrase: Sed signifer Sanctus Michael repraesentet eas [animas] in lucem sanctam
This is of course a sentence from the Offertorium of the Requiem Mass.

My question concerns what 'repraesentet' really means here. I find the standard translations one finds ("may he lead/may he conduct") singularly weak and inaccurate compared to other uses of the word I find cited in the Oxford Latin Dictionary and the Lewis and Short lexicon.

As best I can determine, this Latin is old--older than the Dies Irae, probably fifth century.

Here is the whole Offertorium for context:

Domine, Jesu Christe, Rex gloriæ,
libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum
de pœnis inferni et de profundo lacu.
Libera eas de ore leonis,
ne absorbeat eas tartarus,
ne cadant in obscurum;
sed signifer sanctus Michæl
repræsentet eas in lucem sanctam,
quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini ejus.

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Stephen C. Farrand
United States
Local time: 07:41
show, present
Explanation:
Taken into account that here lux is a symbol for God, I think that present is very appropiate, in the sense of to put before the eyes or face of someone.
Since "Signifer" means leader, the translation as "may he lead" conveys that idea of "leading", but I agree with you that is not accurate enough. If "produce" could be used with souls as a direct object, it could be an ideal rendering, but I am afraid is not the case.

I have found this example of usage for "present":
And further because there is nothing more pleasing to God in his ministers than purity cleanness and chastity of
life, which alone, with faith can present the souls of men to God, I ordain and lay down that if the aforesaid
chaplain shall have hem reproved once and a second and third time for sins of the flesh by me during my life and
after my death...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2009-02-24 16:51:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

My dictionary defines repraesento as "(from re praesento): put before the eyes, represent, present, reproduce".
As well, praesento is defined as present, to put before the eyes, show, and, in a figurative sense, to offer up (Priscian)

Other examples:
The Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude The Great. Book 5.... who generally appeared to her to present the souls with the offerings made for them with great joy; but Our Lord sometimes, of His own goodness and in ...
my.homewithgod.com/gertrude/book5/ - 140k - Cached - Similar pages

Three Selections from The Great MysteryHow can ye present the souls of men to God, and see not how their states are in his sight? How come ye to have fellowship in the spirit? ...
www.qis.net/~daruma/GreatMystery3.html - 247k - Cached - Similar pages

Schriftlichkeit im frühen Mittelalter - Google Books Resultby Ursula Schaefer - 1993 - Learning and scholarship - 292 pages
According to some, a place in heaven is also reserved for the good teacher as he has to present the souls under his care before the supreme judge on ...
books.google.es/books?isbn=3823342681...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs (2009-02-24 19:36:31 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Aloisius Stephano Sal. Yes, one of the senses my dictionary gives to signifer was "guía, caudillo ", which could be translated as leader, guide, boss. (Our Spanish caudillo, Franco, was equivalent to the italian "Duce"...). This sense is found in Cicero, figuratively. Vale :)
Selected response from:

Luis Antonio de Larrauri
Local time: 13:41
Grading comment
Multas gratias agimus!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4but may Saint Michael (as) ensign speed them onward into (God's) holy light
Joseph Brazauskas
3show, present
Luis Antonio de Larrauri
3to hasten, to accelerate
irat56
3gives as a present?Péter Jutai
3but may he bring them back/(re)present/show/portray/reproduce them
Veronika McLaren


  

Answers


26 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
but may he bring them back/(re)present/show/portray/reproduce them


Explanation:
These are interpretations of "repraesentare" I have found in my various dictionaries.

Veronika McLaren
Local time: 07:41
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Stephanus Veronicae Sal. Yes, I know--I do my homework :-) The problem is that none of these definitions describe physical movement; these meanings of repraesentare concern a sort of "mental mapping" of a mental picture to physical reality. Is that what we're to understand here? I mean, for God, presumably thought is action. But the Archangel Michael was thought of as a psychopomp. Isn't he literally escorting the souls?

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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
gives as a present?


Explanation:
Dear Stephen,

when I have to translate texts from the middle ages, the best dictionary is Ducange. Here is an explanation from him:

http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/camenaref/ducange/bd4/jpg/s... (it's praesento, but repr. redirects you here).

From his explanations I think "quasi praesentia efficere, ostendere" is the best here. This whole metaphore is beatiful, though repraesento with in+acc is strange here. If I would like to say: may S. M. gives us as a present to the holy light, I would write repraesenteret sanctae luci. Or does it mean something completely different?

Péter Jutai
Hungary
Local time: 13:41
Works in field
Native speaker of: Hungarian
Notes to answerer
Asker: Stephanus Petro Sal. Well, I don't know. I wonder if Ducange is the best guide for this text, which may be from before the end of the Empire in the West. I didn't know about this online resource for it, though :-)

Asker: I meant the online resource for the Ducange.

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24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
to hasten, to accelerate


Explanation:
It is also one meaning of "repraesento, as, are"

Let Saint Michaël who bears the pennant accelerate the arrival of the souls into your sacred light...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2009-02-24 17:58:08 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Well, I mean he will not let them in Purgatory more than necessary!
And I DO agree: "Standard-bearer" is much better ;-)
Vale!

irat56
France
Local time: 13:41
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
Notes to answerer
Asker: Stephanus Irato (:-) sal.: Well, I wondered this, too. Is the point that Saint Michael "rushes" (or perhaps "expedites") them?? BTW "Pennant" makes Americans think of baseball. We have to fall back upon "standard-bearer". I am quite certain that some Red Sox fans have petitioned him, however.

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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
show, present


Explanation:
Taken into account that here lux is a symbol for God, I think that present is very appropiate, in the sense of to put before the eyes or face of someone.
Since "Signifer" means leader, the translation as "may he lead" conveys that idea of "leading", but I agree with you that is not accurate enough. If "produce" could be used with souls as a direct object, it could be an ideal rendering, but I am afraid is not the case.

I have found this example of usage for "present":
And further because there is nothing more pleasing to God in his ministers than purity cleanness and chastity of
life, which alone, with faith can present the souls of men to God, I ordain and lay down that if the aforesaid
chaplain shall have hem reproved once and a second and third time for sins of the flesh by me during my life and
after my death...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2009-02-24 16:51:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

My dictionary defines repraesento as "(from re praesento): put before the eyes, represent, present, reproduce".
As well, praesento is defined as present, to put before the eyes, show, and, in a figurative sense, to offer up (Priscian)

Other examples:
The Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude The Great. Book 5.... who generally appeared to her to present the souls with the offerings made for them with great joy; but Our Lord sometimes, of His own goodness and in ...
my.homewithgod.com/gertrude/book5/ - 140k - Cached - Similar pages

Three Selections from The Great MysteryHow can ye present the souls of men to God, and see not how their states are in his sight? How come ye to have fellowship in the spirit? ...
www.qis.net/~daruma/GreatMystery3.html - 247k - Cached - Similar pages

Schriftlichkeit im frühen Mittelalter - Google Books Resultby Ursula Schaefer - 1993 - Learning and scholarship - 292 pages
According to some, a place in heaven is also reserved for the good teacher as he has to present the souls under his care before the supreme judge on ...
books.google.es/books?isbn=3823342681...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs (2009-02-24 19:36:31 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Aloisius Stephano Sal. Yes, one of the senses my dictionary gives to signifer was "guía, caudillo ", which could be translated as leader, guide, boss. (Our Spanish caudillo, Franco, was equivalent to the italian "Duce"...). This sense is found in Cicero, figuratively. Vale :)

Example sentence(s):
  • http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~deaston/Spital%20Charity%20stuff/Thomas%20De%20Aston's%20Charter.pdf
Luis Antonio de Larrauri
Local time: 13:41
Native speaker of: Spanish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Multas gratias agimus!
Notes to answerer
Asker: Stephanus Ludovico? Antonio Sal. The most helpful so far--thank you! Your examples are rather removed in time from the Offertorium text, but the examples you cite seem rather to echo the concept in it.

Asker: Signifer means "leader" only in a super-literal way (i.e. the standard is held up before the advancing troops). In English, "leader" means someone in charge (like Lat. dux).

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1 day3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
but may Saint Michael (as) ensign speed them onward into (God's) holy light


Explanation:
Plerumque opibus interretis diffido, sed haec definitio, cuius fons infra suppleo, recta videtur:

http://catholic.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/lookup.pl?stem=repra...


Joseph Brazauskas
United States
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 8
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Changes made by editors
Feb 25, 2009 - Changes made by Luis Antonio de Larrauri:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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