Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Some in the Artero clan have revived an old family devotion and are continuing it in the Spanish language.

As most people know, the family patriarch was a Spaniard named Pascual Sáez Artero, who was from the town of Mojácar in the province of Almería in Andalucía in southern Spain. He was born there in 1875, joined the Spanish military, was stationed on Yap where he met his Chamorro wife and then moved to Guam at the turn of the century. He died on Guam in 1956.

His children, half Spanish and half Chamorro, spoke both Spanish and Chamorro fluently, and on top of that, English as well.

Their mother was Asunción (or Ascensión) Martínez Cruz. Most sources state her first name as Asunción, but some of the older ones in the family say that her name was Ascensión.

In any case, she came down with some skin condition that even affected her hair and she could find no relief from medical treatment. She began a novena to the Santo Niño de Cebú, using a prayer book written in Spanish. After completing this novena, her condition improved and the problem eventually disappeared entirely. She made it her promesa (promise) to observe this novena every year in January.

Now that her grand children and great grand children are observing it, they decided to say it in Spanish, just as Asunción (Ascensión) began it many years ago (if not even 100 years ago!).

Long after the Spanish flag was no longer flying over the Marianas, many Chamorros continued to pray in Spanish and, now, the Artero family does the same.

Asunción (Ascensión) Martínez Cruz (circled above), wife of Pascual Artero


  1. I remembered in the mid 50's walking back home from mid morning mass at OLB AH church. I would pass by the Artero store and see Tun Antonio reading his bible every Sunday. He had attended early morning mass but continued to read his bible long afterwards. Later I was told by many and confirm by his son Pascual That Tun Antonio was reading a Spanish Bible. Just like to add a extra note. I believe the OLB Church site was donated by Asuncion Cruz family.

    1. He was also known for praying many rosaries. He would say, "I answer only to God and to history." His wife's family, the Martinez Cruzes, owned a lot of land in Tutuhan and one of the Cruz brothers donated part of his land for the building of a church.