Muziek, Videogames

Praising the Virgin Mary in the Talos Principle


The acclaimed indie game The Talos Principle (2014) has quite an unusual theme song, called ‘Virgo Serena’.

The lyrics are not difficult to understand:

Dominus Tecum Virgo Serena
Dominus Tecum Virgo Serena
Panis Et Pastoris Virginum Et Regina
Salvatoris Christi Templum Extitisti

In English translated, it reads:

The Lord in with you, O serene Virgin
The Lord in with you, O serene Virgin
(You are) the bread of the shepard, Queen of the virgins
You are the temple of Christ the Saviour

These four (actually three) lines are picked from a much longer famous Catholic prayer known as Ave Maria, Virgo Serena, a variation to the text of the Ave Maria which is so familiar to us thanks to Bach and Gounod. The Ave Maria – or Hail Mary in English – is a long prayer devoted to Mary, Mother of God, in which she is given numerous positive qualifications.

In the ‘version’ of Talos, the three lines refer to:

The Lord in with you, O serene Virgin. The first part is a quotation from the Bible. When the angel visits Mary to proclaim that she will be receive Jesus, he greets her with the words: ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee’ (Luke 1,28). The notion of ‘the serene virgin’ is attached to Roman Catholic doctrine that Mary has kept her virginity before, during and after Christ’s birth.

(You are) the bread of the shepard, Queen of the virgins. The notion ‘Queen of virgins’ is attached to the Roman Catholic idea that all saintly virigins in tradition are preceded by (and are inspired by) the most important one of all: Mary herself. The phrase about the ‘bread’ and the ‘shepard’ is a reference to Christ (who is called ‘the Shepard’ in the New Testament), fed by his mother Mary when he was only a child.

You are the temple of Christ the Saviour. The womb of Mary is metaphorically spoken of, in Roman Catholic Tradition, as ‘a Temple’ in which God would become human.

The question why the developers of Talos have chosen this prayer dedecated to Mary or why they chose these exact words from it, remains a mystery. Maybe I will be able to give some answers after I have finished the game.

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