Tuesday, May 1, 2012



With Jesus and Mary keeping him company

Today, May 1st, is yet another feast of Saint Joseph, but somewhat different from the feast on March 19.  Today he is honored as "the Worker."  In Chamorro, "i fafacho'cho'."

March 19 is the older of these two feasts.  The May 1st feast was instituted in 1955 by the Church to counter the leftist May Day festivities for industrial workers.  The Church held up Saint Joseph, the carpenter, as a manual worker himself.  One could be both a worker and a believer, the message of the feast announced.

The older feast on March 19 points to Saint Joseph as the patrosinio, the patron saint of the universal church.  Just as Saint Joseph watched over the first church - the Holy Family - we ask him to watch over the church all over the world.


(Aspirations of the Soul)

Hu fa' båkulo hao
San Jose gi masa'pet-ho;
ti hu abak sa' kandet-ho
si Jesus, Yu'us taotao.

I make you a staff
Saint Joseph in my sufferings;
I will not be lost
because Jesus is my light, God and man.

Minagof taotao siha
gi tano'-ta yan i langet;
i minagof i man ånghet
i Nanå-ta as Maria.

Joy of the people
on our earth and in heaven;
the joy of the angels
is our Mother Mary.

Hu ågang siha i tres
adahen i finatai-ho;
minagof i korason-ho
Jesus, Maria, Jose.

I call these three
the guardians of my death;
the joy of my heart
Jesus, Mary, Joseph.


  • Hinagong.  Hågong is "to breathe."  Hinagong is "breath, respiration and aspiration."
  • Båkulo.  A staff, crook or walking stick.  It is a symbol of strength and support.
  • Fafacho'cho'.  In Chamorro, when you duplicate the first syllable of a verb, it turns the verb into a noun - someone who regularly does that action.  Here are some examples :

Kånta = to sing
Kakanta = singer
Facho’cho’ = to work
Fafacho’cho’ = worker
Tuge’ = to write
Tituge’ = writer
Pulan = oversee, guard, watch over
Pipulan = guardian, overseer, supervisor
Setmon = to preach
Sisetmon = preacher

It becomes tituge' (rather than tutuge'), pipulan (rather than pupulan) and sisetmon (rather than sesetmon) because the definite article the ( i ) changes the pronunciation.  I tituge', i pipulan, i sisetmon.  The writer, the guardian, the preacher.

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