On 29 September 1938, Francis Poulenc found an excerpt from a poem by Charles d’Orléans (1394–1465) reprinted in Le Figaro. The text, profoundly topical, moved him. He set it to exquisite music. This song has been ringing in my ears ever since, this morning, I read of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine:
Pray for peace, sweet Virgin Mary,
Queen of heaven and mistress of this world.
Kindly cause to pray
the company of saints and direct your plea
towards your Son, beseeching his highness
to have gracious regard for his people,
which he was pleased to redeem by his blood,
by bringing an end to war, which destroys all things.
Tire not of praying:
pray for peace, pray for peace,
joy’s true treasure.
Source: Coram Fratribus