O Deus ego amo Te, Nee amo Te Ut salves me. St. Francis Xavier ? [Love to Christ, or Passiontide.] The original of this hymn is supposed to be a Spanish sonnet which begins "No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte," and which in Diepenbrock's Geistlicher Blumenstrauss, 1829, p. 199, is ascribed to St. Francis Xavier. In the Poesias of St. Teresa of Spain (Teresa de Jesus, b. 1515, d. 1582), published at Miinster, in 1854, it is included as by her; but we have been unable to find it in her Libros, Lisbon, 1616, her Obras, Lisbon, 1654, or her Opera, Cologne, 1686. The Latin form is probably by Xavier or by some German Jesuit. It is at least as early as 1668, for in that year a translation was published by J. Scheffler, in his Heilige Seelenlust, Bk. v., No. 194, entitled, "She [the Soul] loves God simply for Himself, with the Holy Xavier. Also from the Latin" (see below). In the same year it also appeared with Xavier's name in W. Nakatenus's Coeleste palmetum (ed. 1701, p. 491, entitled, "The desire of a loving soul towards the God-Man crucified for us. S. P. Francis Xavier"). The Latin text is also found in the Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Cologne, 1722, p. 328; the Hymnodia Sacra, Münster, 1753, p. 270; Daniel ii. p. 335; Königsfeld, ii. p. 280; F. A. March's Latin Hymns, 1875, p. 190, &c.
It has been translated into German, and through the German into English, viz.:—
Ich liebe Gott, und zwar umsonst. By J. Scheffler in his Heilige Seelenlust, 1668, Bk. v., No. 194 (Werke, 1862, p. 322). A free tr. in 10 stanza of 4 1. In the Herrnhut Gesang-Buch, 1735, No. 738. Translated as "My dear Redeemer! Thou art He," as No. 624 in pt. i. of the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754. Jn the 1789 and later ed. (1886, No. 454) it begins "Gracious Redeemer, Thou hast me." [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
The translations directly from the Latin are:—
1. My God, I love Thee, not because. By E. Caswall, in his Lyra Catholica, 1849, p. 295; and his Hymns & Poems, 1873, p. 152. It has been included, with slight alterations, in most of the prominent hymn-books published since 1850, and is very popular in Great Britain and America. It is also found in the following forms:—
(1) I love Thee, 0 my God, but not. In the Reformed Dutch Hymns of the Church, N. Y., 1869, much altered. In the Baptist Praise Book, N. Y., 1871, this form is again altered as "I love Thee, O my God, and still."
(2) Jesus, I love Thee; not because. In Schaff’s Christ in Song. 1869.
(3) Lord, may we love Thee, not because. In Kennedy. 1863.
(4) 0 God, we love Thee; not because. In the Irvingite Hymns for the Use of the Churches. 1871.
(5) Saviour, I love Thee, not because. In Dale's English Hymn Book 1874.
(6) Thou, 0 my Jesus [Saviour] Thou didst me. In the Unitarian Hymns for the Church of Christ, Boston, U.S.A. 1853 ; T. Darling's Hymns for the Church of England, 1887, &c.
2. I love Thee, 0 my God and [my] Lord. Given anonymously in Kennedy, 1863, No. 661, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines. In the Sarum Hymnal, 1868, and Porter's Churchman's Hymnal, 1876, it is abbreviated to 3 stanzas.
3. My God, I love Thee, yet my love. By R. C. Singleton, in his Anglican Hymn Book, 1868.
4. Thee, 0 God, alone I love. By G. E. Dartnell, in Thring's Collection, 1880 and 1882.
Other translations are:—
1. My God, I love Thee, not because I covet Thy salvation. Anon. in The Old Church Porch. 1857.
2. 0 God, my heart is fixed on Thee. Elizabeth Charles. 1858.
3. 0 God, I love Thee; not with hope. J. W. Hewett. 1859.
4. I do not love Thee, Lord. To win Thy, &c. H. Kynaston, 1862.
5. 0 God, let not my love to Thee. H. M. Macgill. 1876.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
|Instances (3)||First Line||Text Title||Refrain First Line||Authors||Composers||Meter||Scripture||Tune Title||Tune Key||Incipit||Languages||Publication Date|
|Cantiones Sacrae: a Collection of Chants and Hymns. 2nd ed. #d53||O Deus, ego amo te, Nec amo te||Francis Xavier||1887|
|Laudis Corona: the new Sunday school hymn book, containing a collection of Catholic hymns, arranged for the principal seasons and festivals of the year #156a||O Deus, ego amo te, Nec amo te||Francis Xavier||1880|
|The Catholic Youth's Hymn Book by the Christian Brothers. Rev. #d103||O Deus, ego amo te, Nec amo te||Francis Xavier||1885|