Sunday, July 29, 2012


One of the traditional Chamorro hymns to Santa Ana (Saint Ann) includes a few rarely heard words.

Sainan i Bithen Maria / si Jesus påtgon toyong-mo
(Parent of the Virgin Mary / Jesus is your grandchild)

Tayuyute ham as Yu'us ni Saina-mo yan nietu-mo.
(Pray for us to God your Lord and grandson.)

Man sen båba i Hudios / ayo i mañataotao-mo
(The Jews were very bad / those who were your own people)

ya i mampos na binaba / si Yu'us nina' lalålo'.
(and exceeding evil / angered God.)

På'go hågo giya hamyo / sinantusan hinanao-mo.
(Now you among you (Jews) / your way was holy.)

Linguistic Notes

  • Saina can mean several things, but in general it means someone higher in status than yourself.  It can mean parent, lord, master, elder. 
  • Påtgon toyung is an obsolete Chamorro word for grandchild.
  • Nieto is a word borrowed from the Spanish meaning grandson.  Nieta is granddaughter.
  • Mañataotao.  Comes from man+cha+taotao.  Cha means "equal, the same."  Chataotao means "the same people, race, nation."  But when one puts man in front of cha, it becomes maña-.

Theological Notes

  • The Incarnation of the Son of God introduced into the world and human history brand new relationships.  Jesus is the Son of Mary, and Mary is His mother.  But that is according to His human nature.  But Jesus is a divine person with a divine nature as well, so He is also God and Lord of His own mother.  That is why the refrain says to Saint Ann, "Pray for us to God, your Lord and grandson."
  • The Jews are called "bad" in this hymn because the majority of the Jews rejected Jesus as the messiah, even though Jesus, according to His human nature, was a Jew.  Saint Ann, though, was also a Jew, but she not only accepted Jesus; she was His grandmother.

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