Panis Angelicus fit panis hominum


There’s the Latin.
Where’s the English?

The first thing is to detect and translate the verb.
The only verb in that first line is “fit” (pronounced feet).

It’s the Latin verb “fieri”…
“to become, to be made, or to happen”.
Now which one does Aquinas have in mind?



Context rules out “to happen”.
The subject of the sentence does not “happen”.
Grammar might happen, or did happen, or is happening.
But a person wouldn’t, didn’t, or isn’t happening.


Plus, this verb in this sentence has a direct object…
so that means that it would mean  X happens to Y…
something like “Grammar happens to theologians”.

So in context, “happen” doesn’t sound right and doesn’t makes sense.

But the idea of the subject of the sentence “becoming” or “being made into” something else might make sense. So that’s the meaning.

Someone or something (the subject)…
is becoming, or being made into (the verb)…
something else (the direct object).

grammar will “happen” …

 grammatica erit

oh, and “erit”…
it’s the future active indicative 3rd person singular form of the verb “fieri”…
the verb in question in this, the very first line of…

Panis Angelicus…

in which “fieri” doesn’t mean “happen”…

as it does in my little Latin sentence.

In Panis Angelicus…
Something. Becomes. Something. Else.

There is more…
please come back.


In which we translate Panis Angelicus

by Craig on January 30, 2014

Translating Panis Angelicus from Latin to English…

…treasures lay hidden in the 800 year old poetry of Aquinas.

There are so many delicious layers to burrow through. But before scooping up the goodness, I thought it might be worth double checking the translation. If I have that wrong I can have everything wrong. So I’m going to go through it step by step…

and I was wondering…

maybe you might enjoy going through the whole translating process with me?

( The full translation of Panis Angelicus is here. )

Translating something like this from the original Latin can be wondrous. Not being fluent in Latin forces you to read as slowly as a shifting shadow on a sundial. Letters unveil vital puzzle pieces, and breathtaking mysteries can unfold with every word.

First there’s the first sentence.

You can find a few translations of Panis Angelicus on the web. But if we didn’t have them we’d just have to pick a bunch of words and go until they made up proper sentences…

panis wordle


direct object…
adverbs, adjectives.

With Panis Angelicus the first sentence is…

Panis Angelicus fit panis hominum

Literally “bread of angels becomes bread of humanity”.

Now, how’d I get there?

If you don’t like grammar, look away now ッ

There is more.

Please come back.


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