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A song of farewell

Pedro Casciaro

Tags: Catechetical trips, Our Lady
St Josemaria visited Mexico from May 15 to June 22, 1970.

The day before he went back to Rome, he had a get-together with a group of young university students. One of them took up a guitar and told the Father he wanted him to listen to a song which is normally sung when people go to serenade the Virgin of Guadalupe at the Villa early in the mornings.

The Father nodded, and the lad began to strum the guitar, singing softly at first:
Lady, to you I wish to sing
The finest of my songs.

Then, in full voice, he continued:
All my love is for you
And my very being too.
A heavenly hope cast its rays
Lighting up my darkened days…

(Click here for audio of original on mp3).

Suddenly the Father jumped to his feet. “Why don’t we go to the Villa, all of us,” he suggested, “and sing that to our Lady, to serenade her?”

At 8 o’clock that evening, the agreed time, we were all together in the Villa, beside the Father, at the feet of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As soon as he arrived the Father went directly to the sanctuary and, standing in front of the main altar under the image of our Lady, he intoned the Salve Regina. The shrine was absolutely packed. Hundreds of people, of all ages and backgrounds, had come to serenade our Lady with the Father, to honor her and to demonstrate their love.

After the Salve Regina the Father moved to the right hand side and stationed himself beside a kneeler. The guitars began to sound:
My heart is yours
O sun of my desiring…

The Father remained standing, his eyes fixed on our Lady. He was very moved. At a certain moment he knelt down and covered his face with his hands, leaning on the back of the kneeler, holding back his tears. A second song began:
I told her my heart on her was set
She alone’s the one that I desire,
That never can I e’er forget
Her eyes of heavenly fire.
The more I think about her
More and more do I love her…

(Click here for audio of original on mp3).

The introductory chords of the third song began:
for having known you…

(Click here for audio of original on mp3).

When he heard those words, the Father rose, visibly moved, and left the church. A few of us went out with him, while nearly everyone else stayed on in the Basilica singing their song of love and gratitude to the Virgin.

We went through the sacristy, full of votive offerings, and along the gallery of miracles. We came to the car and set off home. We had already driven some distance in silence, which none of us dared to break, when the Father exclaimed quietly, “This Mexico of yours takes some beating!”
(Click here to download original Spanish lyrics in pdf format)

Dream and Your Dreams will Fall Short, Pedro Casciaro, Scepter, London, 1997, pp. 343-345