Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Jesus Tatå-ho mames, i mina' såfo yo'
(Jesus, my sweet Father, who saved me)
Gos didok i piniti-ho, gos didok i piniti-ho
(my sorrow is very deep, my sorrow is very deep)
Jesus, asi'e yo'; Jesus asi'e yo'!
(Jesus, forgive me; Jesus, forgive me!)

In this Lenten song, Jesus is called "Father," just as we saw in other Chamorro hymns.  This is a characteristic seen in Spanish religious prayers and hymns.  Catholicism is trinitarian; we believe that there are three distinct persons in one God; three persons who are not the same person, but who are one and the same God.  How, then, can Jesus be understood as "Father."

Jesus is God the Son, not the God the Father.  But, even as Son, He has fatherly traits.  As Son, He resembles His Father so much, that Jesus says "he who sees me, sees the Father."  Many scripture passages point to the unity between Father and Son that, although being two different persons, they are so united in all other ways that to see the Son is to see the Father.  So the Son has fatherly traits; He provides for us, sacrifices for us, works for us - His greatest work being His dying and rising for our salvation.  Even in the book of the prophet Isaiah, the Messiah, whom Jesus was, will be called "Everlasting Father." (Isaiah 9:6)

The Basque Original

This Chamorro hymn uses the melody of a Basque hymn to Jesus.  The Basques, who have their own language completely unrelated to Spanish, are found in both Spain and France, and many of the Spanish missionaries to the Marianas were Basques from Spain.  Many of these priests spoke both Spanish and Basque, and some of them spoke Basque as their mother tongue, like Pale' Roman.  The Basques were, at one time, some of the strongest Catholics in the world, producing countless priestly vocations.  So, it isn't surprising that, at times, they used their own Basque hymns to translate into Chamorro.

I have included a part of the Basque original in the video.

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