Virolai - Hymn to Our Lady of Montserrat

Traditional version

Statue of Our Lady of Montserrat

Legend relates that the original sculpture was carved in Jerusaelm by St. Luke and brought to Barcelona by St. Peter in 50 A.D. It was later brought into the mountains of Montserrat to save it from the Saracens. The legend goes on to say that in the eighth century shepherds one night saw strange lights on the mountain and heard seraphic music.

Guided by the shepherds, the Bishop of Manresa found a wooden figure of Our Lady and the Holy Child in a cavern (Santa Cova, the Holy Grotto). He ordered the statue to be carried into the cathedral immediately. However, the procession with the statue never reached the cathedral because, after much marching, the small wooden figure became increasingly heavy. The Bishop decided to accept this as a sign that the Virgin had indicated her will to stay on Montserrat to be venerated there. The bishop placed it in the chapel of a nearby hermitage where it remained until a church was built nearby at the site of the present Abbey of Montserrat on the top of the rocks.

This statue is the most celebrated, the most important of Spain; it is thirty-eight inches in height, and is known as "La Moreneta" - The Little Black Madonna. The wood is now black with age; one of its most striking features is the dignified expression of Our Lady. In her right hand, she holds a majestic orb.

The shrine has received innumerable pilgrims over the years, currently at the rate of at least one million per year. This multitude includes secular and ecclesial rulers as well as a number of canonized saints. The most notable of these was St. Ignatius of Loyola, who laid down his sword and embarked on his religious mission after spending a night praying before the image, a miracle in the order of grace.

More info: Montserrat Shrine.

Feast Day: 27 April

Rosa d’abril, Morena de la serra,
de Montserrat estel,
il·lumineu la catalana terra,
guieu-nos cap al Cel.
Amb serra d’or els angelets serraren
eixos turons per fer-vos un palau;
Reina del Cel que els Serafins baixaren,
deu-nos abric dins vostre mantell blau.
Alba naixent d’estrelles coronada,
Ciutat de Déu que somnià David,
a vostres peus la lluna s’és posada,
el sol sos raigs vos dóna per vestit.
Dels catalans sempre sereu Princesa,
dels espanyols Estrella d’Orient,
sigueu pels bons pilar de fortalesa,
pels pecadors el port de salvament.
Doneu consol a qui la pàtria enyora,
sens veure mai els cims de Montserrat;
en terra i mar oïu a qui us implora,
torneu a Déu els cors que l’han deixat.
Mística Font de l’aigua de la vida,
rageu del Cel al cor de mon país;
dons i virtuts deixeu-li per florida;
feu-ne, si us plau, el vostre paradís.
Ditxosos ulls, Maria, els que us vegin!
ditxós el cor que s’obri a vostra llum!
Roser del Cel, que els serafins voltegen,
a ma oració doneu vostre perfum.
Cedre gentil, del Líbano corona,
Arbre d’encens, Palmera de Sion,
el fruit sagrat que vostre amor ens dóna
és Jesucrist, el Redemptor del món.
Amb vostre nom comença nostra història
i és Montserrat el nostre Sinaí:
sient per tots l’escala de la glòria
eixos penyals coberts de romaní.
Rosa d’abril, Morena de la serra,
de Montserrat estel,
il·lumineu la catalana terra,
guieu-nos cap al Cel.


Perrocker is available royalty-free at Jamendo.