Ave, Regína cælórum,
Ave, Dómina Angelórum:
Salve radix, salve porta,
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:
Gaude, Virgo gloriósa,
Super omnes speciósa,
Vale, o valde decóra,
Et pro nobis Christum exóra.

I am having trouble deciphering the bolded line of this hymn, especially the word decora. Is it an noun, adjective, or verb? The o makes me think it is either a noun or an adjective acting as a substantative, but then what is the adverb valde doing here?


2 Answers 2


A valid translation of the relevant piece would be:

O most (lit. very) beautiful [Lady]!

  • Decora is an adjective, feminine in gender (see meaning II for the beautiful sense).
  • Valde is an intensity adverb making decora an augmentative (i.e., very beautiful). The relevant part of the definition is: enter image description here
  • Not sure about the punctuation, but the noun is either virgo, or just elided. Anyway the context makes it reasonably obvious who we're talking about

Decorus is an adjective that means, in this context, "decorated, ornamented, adorned; elegant, fine, beautiful, handsome." In this case, it is substantivized, "beautiful one."

Valde is the adverb form of validus ("strong") and can be used with a verb, adjective, or adverb to intensify it. It's essentially a glorified way of saying "very."

The whole bolded part can thus be translated:

Farewell, o most beautiful one.

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