Gritos al Cielo: Latina Prayers for Patience
¡Ay! Virgencita, Ayudame!
¡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!
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.
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.