Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

[The next poem is a short story of Our Lady of Guadalupe whose feast is celebrated on December 12. It is called corrido”” which is a mexican popular ballad. It is sung to the accompaniment of a guitar, in all the small villages of Mexico, and often the words are distributed in broadsheet from. Throughout most of Mexico the “corrido”  takes the place of newspapers, movies, and television, although it is being supplanted by these media in the cities. This ballad “De la Apariciones de la Virgen de Guadalupe,”  was published in the Plaza of Coyoacán, a suburb of Mexico City, in April, 1954 by a ballad-singer.]


(A “corrido” by Silvino C. N. Martínez)

Just listen to me, Sirs,

I’d like to sing you a song,

It’s something that really happened;

I wouldn’t string you along.

I want to tell you a true thing

About Our Lady of Tepeyac,

Who appeared to Juan Diego

On a deserted mountain track.

Juan Diego was an Indian,

Who came from Cautitlán.

He was crossing the mountains

Walking to beat the band.

He was crossing this mountain

That is known as Tepeyac.

Juan was going to Tlatelulco

And came from Tulpetlac.

He was crossing the mountains

To hear a Christian Mass;

The Franciscan fathers had taught him

That that was worth the pass.

And as he crossed the mountain

He heard a voice divine,

And Juanito saw a Person

Lovelier that the Vine.

The Person said to Juanito

Where are you going now?

And Juan Diego answered

To hear the Mass, I vow.

Then the Virgin told him:

I’m Mary of Guadalupe

The mother of Jesus Christ

And the Queen of all this group.

I’ve come to guard my children,

To make your country Mine.

Go and tell the Bishop

That he has to build me a shrine.

Tell him that Mary sent you,

Don’t let him ever forget.

Juan Diego said farewell

And kept his purpose set.

Finally Juan Diego

Came to the Bishop’s House,

And when he came to his presence

Told him what it was all about.

It was a Queen that sent me,

She told me to come to your house;

She told me to tell you

She wanted a Cathedral hereabouts.

The Bishop answered promptly:

You have to show me a sign

That it was the Virgin sent you

And that you haven’t been drinking wine.

Go back, Juan Diego,

And bring me, if you can,

Some token superhuman

That has no taint of man.

Juan Diego left there promptly

With sad heart and dragging feet,

And went back to that hillside

Sad and unreplete.

When he reached that hillside

Where the Virgin had once surprised him,

She appeared again

And thus She catechized him.

My son, what did they tell you?

And why do you look so sad?

Did you talk to my Bishop?

What did he say to make you mad?

Juan Diego stood there speechless

He didn’t know what to say

Or how to inform Her

That only a sign could carry the day.

The Virgin simply answered:

Well if it’s a sign he craves,

Don’t cry and don’t you worry

We’ve thousands in these caves.

Climb up a little higher

And pick the flowers you see.

Juan Diego did it;

Gathered roses of eternity.

And when he plucked those roses,

His heart began to sing

He went right to that Bishop

As glad as anything

And when he came to his presence,

He didn’t waste a word;

All Bishop’s servants

Knew that Juan had to be heard.

And when the Bishop saw him

His heart forgot to doubt.

Let’s see what you have in your cloak, boy,

And what this is all about.

It’s the token that you’ve asked for

The loveliest flowers there’ve been,

With a freshness and a savor

That the world had never seen.

Juanito dropped his cloak then,

Let the roses fall

And disclosed Our lady’s picture:

Mother of sinners all.

All dropped to their knee then,

At this miracle serene,

Crossed themselves and shouted,

“Long live the Indian Queen!”

And this is what really happened

Four hundred years ago,

In fifteen thirty-one

As you all rightly know.

And all the world has noted

The miracle of Four

And to this date the nations

Worship at Her door.

Today we come here singing

Pilgrims that we are,

The song of Mary Virgin

Our Country’s Guiding Star.

Reference: The Dark Virgin: The book of our Lady of Guadalupe, A Documentary Anthology Edited by Donald Demarest & Coley Taylor (New York, Coley Taylor, INC. / Publishers, 1956)

One Comment:

  1. in the older tradition of the Phils. there was also this so called corrido. i don`t know if it was done the same as the Mexican like this ballad…..we have also the so called `gozos` in the novena booklet, at the end of the prayer of teh novena the gozos will be sung or just proclaimed if no one knows the tone….the gozos is made like a long poem, by verses and stanza….it contains about praises, petitions and thanksgiving to that particular saint prayed or to the blessed mother or Jesus Christ….ex. gozos of Snr. Sto. Nino, or gozos of sa Virgen de la Regla…..etc. etc. Novena devotions is very part to the heart and culture of the filipino people.

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