Friday, September 12, 2014


Chamorro hymn to the Holy Name of Mary. The patroness of the Hagåtña Cathedral is the Dulce Nombre de Maria, the Sweet Name of Mary, a different version of the same title. The feast is today, September 12.

O JESUS BAI IN KANTÅYE, si Maria i Nanå-mo :
(Oh Jesus, we will sing to Mary your Mother :)

Nånan Yu'us as Maria, u ma tuna i na'ån-mo.
(Mary, Mother of God, blessed be your name.)

Singko letras ma tuge'-ña, i bonito na na'ån-mo;
(Your beautiful name is spelled with five letters;)
ti hinentan nu i taotao, pat pine'lo mañaina-mo;
(it was not discovered by man nor given you by your parents;)
lao tinago' i Saina-ta ni tumungo' i bidå-mo. (1)
(but commanded by Our Lord who knew your life.)

Mames na Nå'an Maria, mames nai i masangån-mo,
(Sweet Name of Mary, it is sweet to pronounce it,)
långet, tåno' yan i tase, estague' gi matunå-mo.
(in heaven, on earth and sea, there is your praise.)
Tåya' nai gi hilo' tåno' ni umige' i Na'ån-mo.
(There is nothing on earth that surpasses your Name.)

Hågo pulan i hinemhom ya mani'ina gi tano'
(You are the moon in the darkness which shines on earth)
kalan åtdao talo'åne på'go ennao ininå-mo,
(your light is as bright as the noonday sun.)
Nina'inan Yu'us Åtdao as Jesus ni fina'nå-mo. (2)
(illuminated by God the Sun, Jesus, whom you behold.)

Gin in atan i tasi-ta in hasuye i Na'ån-mo; (3)
(When we look at the sea, we remember your Name;)
yagin taichi i tase, taihinekkok i grasiå-mo.
(If the sea i limitless, your grace is without end.)
Yagin sahguan hånom guiya, hågo Sahguan i Saina-mo.
(If the sea contains water, you are the vessel of your Lord.)

U fan magof i tumamtam i minames i Na'ån-mo.
(Those who taste the sweetness of your Name will rejoice.)
Gi inetnon i man ånghet taiminaktos matunå-mo.
(Your praise is eternal among the choirs of angels.)
Asta ke man måtto guennao gi mina'lak echongñå-mo. (4)
(Until we arrive there by your brilliant side.)


(1) This line is based on the tradition that SS Joachim and Anne were inspired by God to give their daughter the name Mary.

(2) This verse (quite beautiful) speaks of Mary as the moon. Like the moon, she does not shine her own light, but rather that of the sun, who is Christ, whom she faces, as she is His mother.

(3) This verse is based on one interpretation of the meaning of the name Mary, or Mariam in the Greek New Testament. That theory says the name is based on the word "sea."  Christian theologians who agree with this see in this explanation a connection with Mary as being full of grace, as full as the oceans of the world are full of water. Mary is also called Star of the Sea, the light that guides our lives amidst the stormy waters of the sea.

(4) Here's that word again that modern Chamorros don't understand. The meaning has been lost. They confuse it with the word echong, which means "crooked." But there is a separate word echongña, which means "side."

From von Preissig's dictionary

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