Quia vidérunt óculi mei * salutáre tuum

Quia vidérunt óculi mei * salutáre tuum. For my eyes have seen your salvation.

Quite literally, Simeon’s eyes see God’s salvation: He looks upon the infant Christ. Jesus is the cause of salvation for every person who will be saved: “Nor is there any other name under heaven (nec enim aliud nomen est sub caelo) in which we may be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Viderunt oculi mei = my eyes have seen. Notice that the subject, my eyes, oculi mei, comes after the verb. In Latin the word order is free and floating (but not frivolous).

Salutare tuum = your salvation. Latin words have gender: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Some neuter nouns may end, as salutare does here, in are, which may tempt us to think it a verb of the first declension. Beware! Here, salutare is and can only be a neuter noun of the singular number in the accusative case, agreeing with tuum and being acted upon directly by viderunt. It appears in the dictionary as salutare,is,N. The first part does not indicate the gender, but only the nominative form (singular, unless the word has no singular, in which case…plural). The second part (is) indicates what grammatical system to use when forming the various forms of this word, in other words, how to decline it. is indicates what we commonly call a third declension noun. Finally, that N tell us the gender: This is a neuter noun.

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