Therefore He preserved you immaculate


Benedict XVI goes to the Spanish Steps in Rome on the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 2012

Many girls and women of Italian family background, who are conveniently called Connie in English-speaking countries, will be off to Mass today to commemorate their Name Day. So will many of the women in Italy whose name is Concetta on this public holiday there. Likewise all those gels named Concepción in Hispanic countries – and even numerous cities and towns named after Mary’s Immaculate Conception, not to mention so very many churches and religious orders dedicated to the Immaculate (some Franciscans? ahem!) – will be joining the solemn festivities. I myself have just returned from the noon Mass in our parish where there were several hundred people, whereas on most weekdays there are only about seventy. I’m sure not all of them could have been Connies.

What is often called the Sardinian Ave Maria is a hymn written in the 18th century in the Sardinian language and is very much based on the original Latin Ave. (Therefore, I think it must inevitably be regarded as an exceedingly Catholic fundamentalist kind of hymn indeed, what, after the Bishop of Rome’s recent return flight from Africa and all.)

Here Sardinia-born Maria Carta gives us her 1974 recording (time to polish our Sardinian language skills!):

Deus ti salvet, Maria

Deus ti salvet, Maria
chi ses de gratzias prena,
de gratzias ses sa vena
e i’sa currente.

Su Deus Onnipotente
cuntecus est istadu,
pro chi t’at preservadu

Beneitta e laudada
supra totus gloriosa,
Mama, Fiza e Isposa
de su Segnore.

Beneittu su fiore
chi est fruttu de su sinu,
Gesus, Fiore Divinu,
Segnore nostru.

Pregadelu a Fizu ‘ostru
chi totus sos errores
a nois sos peccadores
nos perdonet.

E i’sa gratzia nos donet
in vida e in sa morte,
e i’sa diciosa sorte
in Paradisu.


God greet you, Mary,
who are full of His favour,
you are the source
and the stream of grace.

Almighty God
has always been with you,
therefore He has preserved you

Blessed and praised,
glorious over all,
Mother, Daughter and Bride
of the Lord.

Blessed is the Flower
that is the fruit of your womb.
Jesus, the Divine Flower,
Our Lord.

Pray to your Son
That He may forgive
us sinners all our failings;

And that He may give us grace
in life as in death
and a blissful eternity
in Paradise.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Amen.




About GC

Poor sinner.
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28 Responses to Therefore He preserved you immaculate

  1. kathleen says:

    Lovely, GC – thank you very much for this most unusual rendering of the Hail Mary.

    Though perhaps not to everyone’s taste, here is the Salve Rociera to Our Lady always sung with great passion on the annual pilgrimage to the Virgin’s shrine in Huelva (south-west Spain). Here it is sung by a popular Spanish artist (half gypsy) called Isabel Pantoja. (Perhaps a bit too much emphasis on the singer rather than the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom she sings!)

  2. GC says:

    Olé! Olé! indeed, kathleen. 😀

    If you don’t mind I’ll link the words.

    Yes, the Sardine Sardinian one is perhaps not to everyone’s taste. I particularly liked it as Maria Carta’s voice is very “earthy” and the hymn is very solemn. It must have taken Ms Carta ages to make her voice sound so murky, half-strangled and yet so bright as that.

    But your Spanish hymn is certainly more fun! It must be really something to sing this happy song to her while on pilgrimage to her shrine. It’s wonderful to be able to sing to her. It’s as if she were made for it.

    MEANWHILE, the Sardinian language is said to be the closest to old Latin of all the neo-Latin/Romance languages, even more than Italian. Although there are a number of languages in Sardinia, the one we hear above is meant to have been influenced by Aragonese, Catalan and Castilian as it was a possession of Aragon and then Spain for hundreds of years. It ended up eventually with the kings of Savoy (who later became the kings of Italy), who imposed Italian on them.

    I heard the feast is more popular with women in Spain, kathleen, and they are the ones who will team up to carry the statue around in processions today?

  3. kathleen says:

    No, I meant that the Salve Rociera might not be to everyone’s taste, not your lovely Sardinian Ave Maria. Glad you liked it though. 😉

    Thanks for linking the words to the Spanish hymn for me. They are endearing in their expressive devotion, aren’t they, although I’m not sure if “to adore” Our Lady is right (as one line of the lyrics states). We love and honour the Blessed Virgin Mary very much – as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, Our Lady has been raised by God above all men – but adoration is solely for God, as we know.

    Yes, GC, although ‘real men’ are never afraid to demonstrate their love for Our Lady in public, there is still some remaining reticence to doing so in Spain I think. IOW, women are always in the majority on these occasions of celebrations of Our Lady’s feast days.
    However, in the processions during Holy Week, when enormous heavy and decorated floats including those with Our Lady’s statue (under her many titles) are carried for long hours, this sacrifice is undertaken solely by men! My eldest son and about 30 of his friends annually carry the statue of Our Lady of Hope in one of the Holy Thursday processions. His shoulder is always bruised and aching by the end, but he laughs it off.

    Besides, as I have often related, men greatly outnumber women among the thousands of participants on the amazing Chartres pilgrimage where the statue of Our Lady of Christendom takes pride of place. 🙂

  4. GC says:

    kathleen, are you anywhere near Malaga? Look at these brave girls on today’s feast. I see the statue-bearesses are wearing sensible clothes and shoes to do the men’s job. Or are they lady golfers or, perhaps, police-women? 😉

    You’re right about the Sardininian hymn, kathleen. Brilliant. Great if we could get one of our composers to get an English version ready for church services.

    All those Sardinian boys singing the hymn:

  5. GC says:

    And one from the Philippines (in Malolos Cathedral, about 45km north of old Manila):

  6. GC says:

    kathleen @ 10:33
    I’m not sure if “to adore” Our Lady is right (as one line of the lyrics states). We love and honour the Blessed Virgin Mary very much – as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, Our Lady has been raised by God above all men – but adoration is solely for God, as we know.

    As we know, kathleen, adore in English can also mean to revere, honour and love greatly.

    It comes from Latin adorare, which is ad-orare, to pray, orate or sing to, so we might just get away with it. 😉

  7. Michael says:

    To accompany these beautiful hymns, here is a beautiful reflection on Our Lady by Blessed John Henry Newman:

  8. GC says:

    Michael, thank you for this and for your many links and comments. 😀

    I would add to Cardinal Newman, if I may be so daring, that, even though the Morning Star only really reflects the light of the sun, its light is so bright, white and pure that we almost perceive it to be a “true” star.

    Unlike Sir Elton John and Dame Edna, who are both super-stars.

  9. GC says:

    I’ve heard that on Immaculate Conception our Italian brothers and sisters suddenly realise now that there are only 16 more buying/cooking fasting days till Christmas.

  10. toad says:

    If they don’t, GC, the liberal, modernist priest will remind them from above from the pulpit..
    Our priest at Mass today didn’t remind us of our shopping responsibilities. Lazy old thing. But we know. New dog collars all round, for a start.
    But, while reflecting on the eternal verities, Toad was struck by the notion that “immaculate conception” seems to indicate in some sneaky, metaphysical, fashion – that sex (actual conception and all that rude stuff) – is BAD AND WRONG.
    Surely not? Or we are going to be overrun by the products of the loin of fecund and godless Muslims?
    …Which I’d rather not be. But I’m too old to do my “bit,”. on that front.

    “I would add to Cardinal Newman, if I may be so daring, that, even though the Morning Star only really reflects the light of the sun, its light is so bright, white and pure that we almost perceive it to be a “true” star.”
    So what? Jupiter and Mars are also brighter than any “true” star.
    What is Newman getting at? Who cares, in fact, whether Venus is brighter than a “true” star or not?
    It’s fine just the way it is, surely?
    …Why is there such a need to complicate everything in religion?

  11. GC says:

    I fully suspect, Toad, that you know you are the one complicating things here. Cardinal Newman was simply employing inspired metaphors/similes.

    Of course you knew, just as we do, that Mary was never actually a fiery ball of gases or a hot sphere of rock, didn’t you?

  12. toad says:

    “Of course you knew, just as we do, that Mary was never actually a fiery ball of gases or a hot sphere of rock, didn’t you?”
    Well, GC, I sort of vaguely assumed she wasn’t – but if the Church were to state that she was – then I suppose she would be. That’s logic.
    However, it does seem that, for some considerable time now, Mary has been the only person in Heaven with an actual, physical, body. Is this so? Have I got this right? If so, how does she manage?
    Or is that “an inspired metaphor,” too?

  13. toad says:

    “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Amen.”
    Who was conceived sinless? Her or Christ? Or both? What does it mean in either case?
    Was Mary conceived “normally”?
    Is “normal” conception sinful?
    We should be told.

  14. GC says:

    Toad @ 17:16

    Not fair, Toad, surprise, surprise.

    Actually, I think you’ll find she is there in her glorious body. Like her Son. So there are two such there, at least. Hard to imagine, perhaps, but we may even hope to see such glorified Toad bodies too there. Wonder what they would be like.

  15. GC says:

    Toad @ 17:25

    No, not quite.

    Toad, “Immaculate Conception”. Get googling.

    Do your own homework. The rest of us do.

  16. toad says:

    Why should that question be “unfair” GC?
    It’s not some kind of game where I break rules, is it? If people, interested as I am in metaphysics – ask such a question, surely the Church has some sort of reasonable answer?
    “O Mary, conceived without sin,”
    Was she conceived without sin? How? What does that mean?

  17. GC says:

    See 2 above this.

  18. toad says:

    “Do your own homework.(Toad) The rest of us do.”
    I doubt that, GC. There are several points you are forbidden to do any homework on.
    …As you well know. If you don’t – ask Kathleen.

    Anyway, CP&S is my homework.

  19. GC says:

    It seems to many here that CP&S is the place where Toad wants everyone else to do Toad’s homework.

    Toad, Toad is as capable as any of us here to discover what the Immaculate Conception basically means. Toad has Toad’s new specs, doesn’t Toad?

  20. toad says:

    Is this how evangelical Catholics, eager to “spread the good news” deal with reasonable questions – “Google it.”?
    A yes or no answer, please, to this: Were Mary and Christ both “immaculately conceived”?
    And how can the answer (whatever it is) not imply that there is something wrong, sinful indeed, about “normal, unimmaculate,” conception?

    I don’t have new specs. No point, the eye man said. My eyes are now, it seems, permanently not very good. Can’t read books or newspapers any more – even with specs. But I can blow up type on screen large enough to read and write.
    So, I’m doing fine – far better than a lot of people. Who are dead..

  21. Michael says:

    GC @ 14:20:

    Thank you, for the kind comments and for your highly apposite addition to Newman’s reflection 🙂

    Here is another Newman-Blessed Virgin related piece*, this time of a historical nature, from Fr. Hunwicke:

    *The extent of Blessed John Henry’s devotion to Our Lady is something that I wasn’t aware of until fairly recently, and is something that will hopefully become better known in time, possibly as he becomes more appreciated as well. I certainly don’t mean to suggest he is ignored or anything like that (far from it), but I think the significance of his thought is yet to be appreciated, and well as the breadth of topics he reflected on has yet to be given due attention (partly because of the sheer volume of his output).

  22. GC says:

    Toad (2 above this), Toad knows that the “immaculate” refers to original sin. Now get on with you. This is not an apologetics site, as Toad has often been told. There are such things that Toad could approach.

    We’re sorry Toad’s sight cannot be aided. Time to invest in e-books, electronic databases etc.?

  23. GC says:

    Thank you, Michael, 2 above this.

    There appears to be much more to learn about Newman and our blessed Mother after a lot more historical excavation by Father Hunwicke and co. .

  24. kathleen says:

    Well, GC, I can see Toad has been keeping you busy with his inanities in the few hours since I last looked in here! (If he hadn’t absconded from his Catechism classes in childhood, you wouldn’t have been pestered in this way! 😉 )
    Any idea what Toad is referring to when he says “ask Kathleen” on some sort of “forbidden homework”?… No, please don’t bother to answer that!

    @ 10:47 you ask…
    Malaga is a drive westwards of about an hour and a quarter from my home on the coast. Yes, I have occasionally seen women (not necessarily police women, and surely not golfers, haha!) carry statues of Our Lady in processions, but they are always on small, much lighter floats – just the right thing for the fairer sex! 🙂 The massive and very heavy floats carried in Holy Week processions in Andalucia are borne only by the men.
    Actually I haven’t seen any processions along the streets today, feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, but her statue in the Church (which was packed with people for Holy Mass, by the way) was adorned beautifully with flowers and candles, and there was much singing.

    @ 12:45
    As we know, kathleen, adore in English can also mean to revere, honour and love greatly.

    You are quite right of course, GC, but I thought I had better just say that (about adoration being for God alone) just in case any Protestant was peeping in here out of curiosity… and didn’t want him/her then going off to complain about those ‘idolatrous Catholics’! Or something like that. 😉

    And thank you for those other lovely video links.

  25. Robert says:

    Conceived without Sin? The answer is to look through the eyes of Faith! You are preoccupied with the human act of conception! But you forget that neither Adam nor Eve were Conceived they were Created!
    Our Lord said unless you are born again! So it comes down to looking through the eyes of Faith. If Our Lord said born again it means reconceived does it not? I mean isn’t birth linked to conception? So if Our Lord says born again he means reconceived so as to be reborn.
    So there is Conception other than that understand by Fallen Humans.
    If you choose to look through the eyes of carnality then you become one with the pagan world. If you look through the eyes of Faith then so much becomes clear and wonderous! A virgin shall conceive! The eyes of carnality OR the eyes of Faith? that’s your free will choice.

  26. Michael says:

    GC @ 19:18, December 8th:

    Here is a good summary of Newman’s thought and feelings about Our Lady, which also charts the developments of his feelings about her as he moved closer to and finally into the Church:

  27. GC says:

    Michael, again many thanks for this link. I will get to read it when I have the time to read it closely just as it deserves.

    For the moment, this stood out for me:

    Logic is a blunt instrument when applied to devotion; it can abuse it and manhandle it. And thus Newman is very reluctant to get involved in public debate about something which is so personal and intimate as devotion to the Mother of God. He only ventures to do so because he feels called on to defend it. Thus he can affirm that:

    ‘when once we have mastered the idea, that Mary bore, suckled, and handled the Eternal in the form of a child, what limit is conceivable to the rush and flood of thoughts which such a doctrine involves? What awe and surprise must attend upon the knowledge, that a creature has been brought so close to the Divine Essence’.

    Which would explain the centuries-long devotion of the Greeks to the Theotokos and the extraordinary devotion of the Dominicans, the Franciscans and others in the Middle Ages lasting since then through all the centuries to our present day, such that our literally logical Reformed friends still remain greatly astonished (irritated?).

    It’s the ‘personal devotion’ thing that they miss.

  28. Michael says:

    Absolutely GC – very good point. I am glad you honed in on this part of the article too, because I think part of the reason (IMO) that Blessed John Henry’s strong devotion to Our Lady is not as well known as perhaps it might be, is because people see him primarily as a great thinker – he is perhaps not thought of as being someone whose thought or writings are marked by a strong devotional spirit.

    But as you’ve highlighted here, for Newman (and for Benedict XVI I might add – someone about whom the same misconception sometimes abides) it is the ‘personal thing’ that is the key to understanding him and the way he sees theology, Church history, etc, etc.

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