Dona Nobis Pacem

Text from Agnus Dei (Roman Catholic Mass); music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Place & date:

Music was always present in my family. My dad played the violin and my mum the piano. When I was a child, my mum sent us to dance and piano lessons. I also learnt at the Evangelical Church and sang on the radio. My husband Mario played the guitar very well and had a wonderful tenor voice. We made a good duo. I could find the second voice for any bolero.

In Buen Pastor, I would see the girls with teary eyes. They pretended to be strong but then they would go watch television series. It was an opportunity to cry. I thought: “I will teach them to sing a bit”. With a few fellow prisoners we created a choir. We found an old guitar, full of scratches, and although it had poor strings, it still made a sound. We rehearsed a number of songs. But at night my fingertips would hurt so much that I had to dip them in cold water to relieve the pain. It was like a burn.

We rehearsed a couple of religious songs and sang during a mass led by a Jesuit priest. This inspired me the Catholic communion for the first time. I remember that that day we sang the canon “Dona nobis pacem”, which I had taught not only to the prisoners but also to the nuns. The nuns' choir and ours joined forces. The result was beautiful. We were a novelty. The following Sunday the church was full because people wanted to hear us sing.

I also taught them a very beautiful evangelical march that would lift our spirits. It went: “I’m happy and I’ll tell you why / I know that Jesus Christ saved me / I will always sing about his grace / I know that Jesus Christ saved me”.

Published on: 25 September 2016

Dona nobis pacem