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On Christmas Night All Christians Sing
“On Christmas Night All Christians Sing” was composed by Luke Wadding. Luke Wadding, O.F.M. (October 16, 1588 – November 18, 1657), was an Irish Franciscan friar and historian. Wadding was born in Waterford to a wealthy merchant and educated at the school of Mrs. Jane Barden in Waterford and of Peter White in Kilkenny, in 1604 he went to study in Lisbon and at the University of Coimbra.
After completing his university studies, Wadding became a Franciscan friar in 1607, and spent his novitiate at Matosinhos, Portugal. He was ordained priest in 1613 by João Manuel, Bishop of Viseu, and in 1617 he was made President of the Irish College at the University of Salamanca, and Master of Students and Professor of Divinity. The next year, he went to Rome as chaplain to the Spanish ambassador to the Papal States, Bishop Antonio Trejo de Sande, O.F.M. Wadding collected the funds for the establishment of the College of St. Isidore in Rome. He gave the college a library of 5,000 printed books and 800 manuscripts, and thirty resident students soon came. Wadding served as rector of the college for 15 years. From 1630 to 1634, he was Procurator of the Order of Friars Minor at their headquarters in Rome, and Vice Commissary from 1645 to 1648. During the papal conclaves of 1644 and 1655, Wadding received votes to become pope, making him "as close as the church has come to having an Irish pope."A voluminous writer, his chief work was the Annales Minorum in 8 folio volumes (1625–1654), re-edited in the 18th century and continued up to the year 1622; it is the classical work on Franciscan history. He published also a Bibliotheca of Franciscan writers, an edition of the works of Duns Scotus, and the first collection of the writings of St Francis of Assisi
The tune is a traditional Sussex carol.
Lyrics by Luke Wadding