An ancient Easter hymn via Steven Speciale:
This hymn was written in Latin by Franciscan (Minorite) friar Jean Tisserand (b. France, 15th century; d. 1494); it was found in an untitled booklet printed in Paris between 1518 and 1536. Tisserand’s text, which began “O filii et filiae, Rex coelestis,” was preceded by three “alleluias” and concluded by one. Several additional Latin stanzas were added at a later date. A popular preacher, Tisserand also composed other hymns in French and Latin. In 1492 he founded the Refuge of St. Madeleine, an institution for the rehabilitation of prostitutes.
John M. Neale translated the text into twelve stanzas, which were published in his Medieval Hymns and Sequences (1851). That translation appeared in an altered form in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861) and in various other hymnals. Neale’s stanzas 1, 3, 5-7, and 8-10 form the present text.
Like 211, this hymn is a narrative Easter carol; it begins with the Easter gospel from Matthew 28:1-10 (st. 1-3) and concludes with the doubting Thomas story from John 20:19-29 (st. 4-8).