Ancient Languages/latin prayer

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Question
Dear Maria,

I saw your thorough and helpful answers to other questions so I was hoping you can help me with this. I found a latin prayer and I would like to know what it means exactly and maybe where it comes from. But most importantly I would appreciate if you could help me with the pronunciation. How do you say the words of this prayer?

Ángele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietáte supérna,
hodie illúmina, custódi, rege et gubérna.
Amen.


thank you

Answer
Hello,

here’s the literal translation for the Latin prayer that you mention:

“Angel of God, who are the guardian of me, illuminate, guard, rule and guide me, committed to you by Divine mercy. So be it “, i.e. :“Angel of God, who are my guardian, illuminate, guard, rule and guide me, who was committed to you by Divine mercy. Amen”.

Please note that this Prayer to  Guardian Angel has been attributed to St. Anselm of Aosta (Italy), a Benedictine monk, philosopher, and prelate of the Catholic Church, who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury (England)  from 1093 to 1109.

Such a prayer  appears, in fact, in medieval collections of St. Anselm's works, but it seems  that  it has been added to Anselm's works sometime after his death.

In short,  nothing can be known for sure about  the origin of “Angele Dei”.


As for the pronunciation of this Latin prayer, I can only tell you how to pronounce each letter or syllable, considering that English has its peculiarities in pronunciation so that for example the vowel A can be pronounced differently in "father", in "all" or in "and".

So, here's the correct pronunciation in Latin.

-In ANGELE  the A is pronounced like the A in “father”. The accent falls on this A; NGEL is pronounced like the NGEL in “angel”; the last E is pronounced like the E in NGEL.

-In DEI   the pronunciation is the same as “day”in English.

-In QUI the QU is pronounced like the QU in “question”; the I is pronounced like the  EE in “feet”.

-In CUSTOS the CU is pronounced  as COO in “cool”. The accent falls on this syllable; STO is pronounced as STO in “stomach”; S is pronounced like S in “stomach”.

-ES   is pronounced like ES in “establish”.

-In MEI  the pronunciation is the same as “may” in English.

-In ME the ME is pronounced like the MA in “may”.

-TIBI is pronounced like TIBI in “tibia”.

-In COMMISSUM  the COMMISS is pronounced like COMMISS in “commissar”. The accent falls on the I; the –UM is pronounced like the UM in “umlaut”.

-In PIETATE the PI is pronounced like PI in “pillow”; ET is pronounced as AT in “fate”; the A  is pronounced as  A in “father”. The accent falls on this A; TE is pronounced like TE in “test”.

-In SUPERNA the SUPER is pronounced as SUPER in “superb”. The accent falls on the E; NA is pronounced like NA in “nab”.

-ILLUMINA is pronounced like ILLUMINA in  “illuminate”. The accent falls on the U.

-In CUSTODI  the CU is pronounced like COO in “cool”; STO is pronounced like STO in “stomach”. The accent falls on the O; DI is pronounced like DI in “dictionary”.

-In REGE the R is pronounced like R in “ring”; the E is pronounced like the E in “pet”. The accent falls on this E; GE is pronounced like GE in “general”.

-ET is pronounced as ET in “etch”

-GUBERNA is pronounced like GUBERNA in “gubernatorial”.The accent stands on  the E.

-AMEN is pronounced like the English “amen” which is nothing but Latin.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Maria
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P.S. The adverb “hodie” (today) there is not in the  Latin prayer.

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Maria

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I am an expert in Latin & Ancient Greek Language and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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