Monday, November 18, 2013


The fiesta of Sånta Barbara, patroness of Dededo, Guam is coming up soon (December 4).

It's always good to record her hymn for the benefit of all, but a plea from some Chamorros living in the U.S. mainland prompted this recording on this blog.  They are praying her novena, but are not familiar with the hymn.  Here it is!

TUNA SONGSONG i tagåhlo na patrona yan gogue-mo :

Sånta Barbara bendita, nå'e ham ni ginegue-mo.

Annai på'go mafañågo kalan ånghet mali'e'-mo,
chaot-mo i taotao tåno', si Jesus ginefli'e'-mo.

Guma'yu'us i gimå'-mo, tres bentåna i tore-mo,
tres ya uno ha' na Yu'us, ennao ha' i hinengge-mo.

Gos habubo i tatå-mo, maolek hao yan pinat mesngon,
ya matåga i ilu-mo, ma'pos hulo' gi langet-mo.

Yagin hulo, yagin påkyo, pulan i man ginegue-mo,
yagin sago, yagin linao, fåta i mina'ase'-mo.


People, praise your exalted patroness and defender :

Oh blessed Saint Barbara, give us your protection.

When you were just born you looked angelic,
you refused an earthly man, Jesus was your beloved.

Your home was like a church, three windows had your tower,
three persons in one God, that was your faith.

Your father was ill-tempered, you were good and greatly patient,
and they cut off your head, you went up to your heaven.

When thunder, when stormy, watch over those you defend,
when sickness, when earthquake, show forth your mercy.


Barbara converted to Christianity when she was young and when Christianity was not yet legal in the Roman Empire.  Her father was still pagan and opposed her conversion to Christianity.

She refused marriage with a man, wanting Christ alone.

She lived in a tower, and, in a house built for her, she had three windows made to represent the Trinity.

They tried every way to harm her, but her wounds healed by the next day each time.  Finally, her father had her beheaded and he was struck by lightning as punishment.  That is why she is patroness in times of thunderstorm and lightning.

My English translation is not literal, because sometimes the words are used in a poetic way.

Tuna songsong literally means "Praise, village."  The meaning is "let the people of the community praise."

Chaot-mo i taotao tåno' literally means "Your aversion was the man of the earth," but what is meant is that she rejected a man interested in marrying her.  Chaot actually can also mean "allergy!"  Taotao tåno' can also mean "person of the land" or "native."

Sago literally means "the flu," but what is meant is any illness with flu-like symptoms, like the influenza epidemic, with fevers, body aches and cold sweats.


Tower - where she lived

Lightning - which struck her father dead in punishment.  She is also our protector in times of storm and lightning.

Sword - by which her head was cut off.

Cannon - she is the patroness of artillerymen (as she is of those working in dangerous professions)

Chalice and Host - by which she remembered the sufferings of Jesus, which enabled her to undergo her own sufferings and martyrdom.

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