The lyrics to today’s release were written in 1833 by John Henry Newman, a 33-year-old priest, while on a ship bound homeward to England after a prolonged visit to Italy. A dangerous fever delayed him for several weeks.
“I was aching to get home, yet for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks. I began to visit the churches, and they calmed my impatience, though I did not attend any services. At last I got off in an orange boat, bound for Marseilles.”
It was on this boat, finally headed back home, that he penned the lyrics to this beautiful hymn.