Gritos al Cielo: Latina Prayers for Patience

¡Ay! Virgencita, Ayudame!

jessie nuezBy Jessie Nuez

¡Ay! Gran Poder de Dios!

¡Ay! Virgencita de la Altagracia ilumíname el camino a la tranquilidad.

María Santísima que estaré yo pagando!

Dios de la Vida, Padre Celestial, cuida de mi que no quiero cometer una locura hoy!

Dios de la vida, Padre Celestial dame la fuerza para no cometer una barbaridad!

¡Valgame, Dios!

Any of these phrases sound familiar?

Prayers for Miracles and Fortitude

Calling out to los gran poderosos, el Señor y los Santos for help — often asking for patience, serenity and fortitude was, and still is, a rite of passage.

This great phenomenon of echarle un grito al cielo has been passed down by many generations of Latinos and continues to comfort through the desire to darle un chancletazo a alguien, or to simply let out some steam — preventing us from committing a heinous act.

My most recent grito al cielo went like this:

Ay Virgencita del Altagracia dame paciencia para no volverme loca!”

I was sick and so was my son. Vicks-Vaporu-on-the-chest sick. That sick.

Paciencia needed, indeed.

El grito al cielo helped.

It usually does.

Y Tu?

How do you remember your mom, or abuela, or dad praying out loud, pegandandole un grito al cielo? Whether they were angry, frustrated, hopeful, seeking patience in the face of kids or a daily difficulty?

Do you remember a lot of “Dame paciencia!” (Give me patience!)

If you’re a Latin kid, I am guessing you heard quite a few colorful versions at home.

Jessie Nuez was born and raised in New York City. She can be found talking about social media and technology on Twitter (@jessienuez). You can also find Jessie writing on her bilingual site Hecho Para Mamá.


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By Contributor on December 22, 2011 · Posted in dicho del dia

8 Comments | Post Comment

Carrie says:

I love this so much!
I remember a neighbor saying something — regularly – like:

“Madre Mia, Salvame de este demonio!”

It always was in reference to the kids! LOL

In my family I remember stuff like:
“Que dios te ampare!”
“Madre Purisima!”

And there is more…so much more!

Of course, some of those also included some accents with ^%%!)!!!

Posted on December 22nd, 2011

Jessie Nuez says:

Carrie, thank you for the opportunity to voice my gritos. =)

I have been laughing out loud all day remember all the gritos my mother would spew at both my brother and I.

“Que dios te ampare” and “estos muchachos me van hacer cojer la carcel” were at the top of her list.

Also, the gritos that contained expletives were often used when we were going to visit someone and she didn’t want us to embarrass her. LOL
Jessie Nuez´s last [fabulousness] ..Suave Nueva Linea Suave Professionals (Video)

Posted on December 22nd, 2011

perudelights says:

I don´t recall my mother saying things like that, but I´m familiar with “Ave María Purísima” or ” Ay Dios mío, mi lindo”, and “Sangre de Cristo”…

Posted on December 22nd, 2011

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ says:

girl, I hear that every day from my mom! hahaha. when she says it, she’s usually referring to all the kids ( me inlcuded ) and my dad! LOL! It’s hilarious. I have no idea who she’s calling out to since we’re not Catholic. I’d like to think it’s God or Jesus! Si! eso mismo. She says “Ay, Dios mio, dame la gran paciencia que solamente Tu me puedes dar….” :)

Posted on December 22nd, 2011

Suneiry says:

I remember my mom calling out to the Gods so she wouldn’t woop my ass when I was a smartass lol.

Posted on December 23rd, 2011

Ericka Sanchez (@NibblesNFeasts) says:

You brought back lots of memories of my mom and grandmother. Now I find myself gritandole al cielo when my patience wears thin. :)

Posted on December 23rd, 2011

Jeannette Quiñones- Cantore says:

Mi madre decía: ay, dios mio dame paciencia! eso era cuando nos portábamos mal…

Posted on December 23rd, 2011

bohemian babushka says:

La Tata’s daily “Dios ayudame”… the day she doesn’t say it will be her last day. Que Dios nos ampara!

Thanks for the smile and the memories.

Posted on December 24th, 2011