Friday, May 19, 2023



in Santa Rita Church, Guam

Saint Rita of Cascia (the town in Italy where she lived in the 1400s) is the patron saint of the village of Santa Rita in Guam.

Her feast day is May 22 and the public celebration of that feast is usually held on the weekend closest to that date.

The Chamorro hymn to Santa Rita speaks about her life, so unless you know some details about her life you may not understand the hymn.


When Santa Rita was born, bees gathered around her mouth, even entering and leaving, laying honey on her lips without harming the little baby. A man who observed this, who had a wounded arm, tried to gather the bees and his wound was healed instantly. The bees were taken as a good omen that the baby would grow into someone important. Later, long after Santa Rita died, white bees would gather in the walls of her monastery up until her feast day.


Saint Rita had always wanted to be a nun, but her parents pressured her to marry a man she didn't love. He was a womanizer and an abuser. She consented and suffered much on his account. Her husband was murdered and later her only two children, sons, died. But, in all three cases, Santa Rita helped the three repent of their sins before their deaths. Now independent, she finally entered the Augustinian monastery and became a nun.


Wanting to share in the sufferings of Jesus, Santa Rita asked to feel in her body the pains the Lord endured. Jesus allowed her to receive a wound on her forehead and the marks of the Crown of Thorns. This wound began to stink horribly and all the other nuns had to avoid being near her. But on the day she died the wound was replaced by a mark in the shape of a rose and colored like ruby. It now gave off a beautiful fragrance.

Santa Rita is the patroness of impossible cases and of abused women.

Fina’tinas Santa Rita meggai siha na milågro;
tayuyute ham Santa Rita todos i mangilisyåno.
(Saint Rita made many miracles;
pray for us, Saint Rita, for all Christians.)

Linangitan minamisan i masåmai na na’ån-mo / ninatungo nu anghet na sinantos na na’ån-mo / sa u maolek yan tagåhlo i hinanao-mo gi tano’…
(Your beautiful name is a heavenly sweetness, the holiness of your name was made known by an angel, because your journey on earth would be good and exalted...)

Annai på’go ma takpånge i pachot-mo nai man annok / i abehas låhyan siha / si Yuus ma na’ fan måtto / ya ma tungo magin ayo i minames i bidå-mo...
(When you were baptized a swarm of bees appeared on your mouth, sent there by God and because of that we know the sweetness of your life...)

I man silok na mañaina achok ha ti malago / ma naassagua hao guihe yan i ti ya-mo na taotao / lao un sungon i finakai si Yuus långet nu hågo…
(Your overbearing parents, even though you didn't want to, made you marry a man you didn't love, but you endured what the God of heaven marked out for you...)

Annai måtai i asagua na pinino’ nu i taotao / ya man måtai i dos lokkue na lahi-mo na man gåtbo / un hasuye gi anti-mo na un gunos hao gi tåno’...
(When your husband died, killed by someone, and your two handsome sons also died, you thought in your soul to separate yourself from the world...)

Umetmåna agustina ya un setbe i Saina-mo / korason ånte mumagof mesngon kalåmya såntos / un gofli’e’ i guinaiyan i anti-mo un nahåspok...
(You became an Augustinian nun and served your Lord, your heart and soul rejoiced, perseveringly you became holy, you loved the love of your soul and became satisfied...)

Si Yuus ha nadinilok i hai-mo nu i laktos / ya sumåga mandochon i dilok-ña giya hågo / O gai tituka’ na sånta ma asi’e’ i taotao-mo...
(God pierced your forehead with a thorn and its gash remained fixed in you. O saint with a thorn forgive your people...)

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