Nicolas Letourneux

Ap­ril 30, 1640, Rouen, France.

No­vem­ber 28, 1686, Villiers sur Fere, Sois­sons, France.


Born to poor parents, le Tourneaux showed uncommon ability at an early age, and attracted the notice of M. du Fos­set, Maître des Comptes at Rou­en, who sent him to the Je­su­it college at Par­is, where he made remarkable progress in his studies.

He then moved to Tour­aine, where he spent some time with a pious ecclesiastic in the practice of prayer and penitential exercises. His friend, observing that le Tour­neaux had a gift for preaching, advised him to return to Rou­en. This he did, adopted the clerical profession, and in 1662 was admitted to the priests’ orders by special dispensation, though still under canonical age.

He subsequently moved to Par­is, where he employed his time in study, and in 1675 won a prize from the French Academy for prose composition. He was appointed to a canonry at Sainte-Cha­pelle, and later became prior of Vil­liers sur Fere, in the diocese of Sois­sons.

He wrote several theological and religious works, as well as some hymns which were inserted into the Par­is Bre­vi­a­ry of 1680, and the Clu­ni­ac Bre­vi­a­ry of 1686 (in the latter, his signature was N.T.P.R.).

  1. Adeste, Coelitum chori
    • Angels, Come on Joyous Pinion
    • Angels to Our Jubilee
    • Come, Thou Blest Angelic Throng
    • Come, Ye Heavenly Choirs Descending
    • Descend from Heaven, Ye Angel Choirs
    • Heavenly Choirs with Anthems Sweet
  2. Aurora Lucis dom novae
  3. Clamantis ecce vox sonans
    • Hark, in the Wilderness
    • Herald’s Cry with Thrilling Sounds, The
    • Judea’s Desert Heard a Sound
    • Lo, the Voice of One That Crieth
    • Voice of Him Who Cries Aloud, the
    • Voice of One That Cries Aloud, The
  4. Emergit undis et Deo
    • Emerging, Lo! from Jordan’s Flood
    • From the Stream Emerging, Lo
    • From the Wave Behold Him Rise
    • He Rises from the Wave, and Now
    • Lord Comes Forth from Jordan’s Stream, The
    • Now Jesus Lifts His Prayer on High
    • Son of Man from Jordan Rose, The
  5. Jussu tyranni pro fide
  6. Non abluunt lymphae Deum
    • God Needeth Not the Cleansing Wave
    • It Is Not That the Wave Can Wash Our God
    • Since the Heavenly Lamb Hath Stood
    • Waters Cleanse Not Thee, The