Prayer by Prayer, Part 4

Since my “Prayer by Prayer” posts document a monthly challenge, I like publishing them on the first Sunday of the month. This September has been very busy, however, so I needed another week to write this post. But I hope to catch up during the rest of the month and have a great September report on the first Sunday of October.

August Report: “Anak”

Remember that August’s prayer project was to learn the Holy Rosary in Tagalog. The good news is that I can now say all the Misterio. The bad news is that I didn’t memorize the Creed and the Hail Holy Queen, although I know them better than before. And the unexpected news is that the Tagalog translation of the Hail Mary was wonderful for meditation. It is the only version of the Ave Maria I know that does not literally translate “fructus ventris tui” as “fruit of thy womb” — but instead uses “iyong anak” or “your own child.”

In Tagalog, there are two words for “child”: “Bata” is any person younger than a teenager; but “anak” is someone’s child. (Reference) A parent would never say that his child is his “bata” — because his child is his “anak.” This is why “anak” is one of the most beautiful words in the Tagalog language. If you are an “anak,” you belong to someone. You are the fruit of someone’s womb. Even Our Lord was an anak — Mary’s anak.

I also finally memorized the Latin and German prayers from July! (Link to Prayer by Prayer, Part 2) The key to learning the whole Tischgebet nach Essen (Prayer after Meals) was to pray it not just after meals, but after everything. For example, the end of my shift at work and at bedtime. On the other hand, there was no special trick to learning the Latin prayer. I just heard low Mass more regularly in August than I did in July and read the prayer when I was supposed to.

September’s Portuguese: The First Prayer of the Angel

Now that the Philippines’ National Language Month is over, I can turn back to my “Tourist Portuguese” project! (Link) One of my goals is to learn all the Fatima prayers in Portuguese. For September, I choose the first prayer the three seers learned to say, from the Angel who appeared to them first.

Meu Deus, eu creio, adoro, espero e amo-Vos. Peço-Vos perdão para os que não crêem, não adoram, não esperam e não Vos amam.

My biggest challenge with these Portuguese prayers is pronunciation. Not only is Portuguese unfamiliar to me (compared to Spanish or Italian), but there are few online audio resources. I was able to find only two videos: One with poor audio (Link) and one with the prayer as a hymn (Link). I may end up singing this prayer all month!

September’s Latin: Veni, Sancte Spiritus

When I was in elementary school, Come, Holy Spirit was part of our morning prayers. These days, I still pray it regularly: After every Sunday Mass, right before the parish priest’s catechism. He leads us in English, but I’d like to know it in Latin.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.

Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur;
Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Oremus. Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

This is another prayer I will be able to learn simply because I can say it regularly. But once a week is not regular enough, if I want to memorize it by the end of September.

September’s German: Der englische Gruß

My sister was recently in the Bavarian pilgrimage site Altötting. She brought me back a little booklet of Marian prayers, propers, and hymns. Can you guess which common prayer the Bavarians call the “englische” greeting?

Der Engel des Herrn brachte Maria die Botschaft
Und sie empfing vom heiligen Geist.
Gegrüßet seist du, Maria . . .

Maria sprach: Siehe, ich bin die Magd des Herrn
Mir geschehe nach deinem Wort.
Gegrüßet seist du, Maria . . .

Und das Wort is Fleisch geworden
Und hat unter uns gewohnt
Gegrüßet seist du, Maria . . .

Bitte für uns, heilige Gottesmutter
Daß wir würdig werden der Verheißung Christi.

Lasset uns beten. Allmächtiger Gott, gieße deine Gnade in unsere Herzen ein. Durch die Botschaft des Engels haben wir die Menschwerdung Christi deines Sohnes erkannt. Laß uns durch sein Leiden und Kreuz zur Herrlichkeit der Auferstehung gelangen. Darum bitten wir durch Christus unsern Herrn. Amen.

It’s the Angelus! At first I thought “englische” meant “English” — but here it actually means “angelic.” In modern German, it is better to translate “angelic” as “engelgleich” or “engelhaft,” but I still should have learned more from Pope St. Gregory the Great’s famous pun! (Reference)

A cultural note: For many Germans, Der englische Gruß is simply the Ave Maria; but to the Bavarians, it seems to be the whole Angelus. As a German priest recently told me, there can be up to twenty-five traditional German translations of Catholic prayers! Different parts of Germany have different versions. And when a prayer is really old, there is no single “official” German way to say it.

Since we pray the Angelus three times a day — sunrise, noon, and sunset — Der englischer Gruß will probably be the first September prayer that I memorize.

What other translations of the Ave Maria do you know?

2 thoughts on “Prayer by Prayer, Part 4

  1. Zagorka

    Well, the only one I can contribute is the croatian one:
    Zdravo Marijo, milosti puna,
    Gospodin s Tobom.
    Blagoslovljena Ti medju zenama
    i blagoslovljen plod utrobe Tvoje
    amen.

    1. Cristina @Linguavert

      Hvala, Zagorka!

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