Sardinian Catholic Prayer

“Okay, this is a prayer, a Catholic prayer, that I have learned from my aunt, she’s my mum’s sister. Well in Sardinia, people recite the usual prayers, you know, our Father, Holy Mary, and others. But there are specific ones that are in Sardinia, and they have similar concepts of course. Umm this one describes like a bed, and says, ‘My bed has four corners and four angels sit on there’ and then I don’t remember a part. But anyway then these angels say, ‘Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid of evil things…ummm….. Don’t be afraid of a bad hand.’ The angel Sara… I don’t know how we say it in English, its a kind of angel. Serafino. And the white angle will help you, amen. (Then the informant recited the prayer in Sardinian) Go in peace, I forgot, that’s the end. Um probably, probably I’m thinking this might be a prayer to recite before going to sleep, because it will kinda be like, you know, kinda like warding off the evil spirits and you know, seeking the protection of the angels and they are comforting and telling you, don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid because you are protected by us.”

Here is the poem in Sardinian:

Su lettu meu est de battor contones
e battor anghelos si bi ponen,
duos in pêse e duos in cabitta,
Nostra Segnora a costazu m’istada
e mi narat: «Dormi e reposa,
no eppas paura ‘e mala cosa,
no eppas paura ‘e malu fine».
S’anghelu Serafine,
s’anghelu biancu,
s’Ispiridu Santu,
sa Virgine Maria
totu siant in cumpagnia mia.

Here is the translation:

My bed has four corners
And four angels sit on it,
two by the feet and two by the head,
Our Lady is beside me,
and she tells me: “Sleep and rest,
don’t be afraid of bad things,
don’t be afraid of a bad outcome.”
The Seraphine angel,
the white angel,
the Holy Spirit,
the Virgin Mary,
may all be with me.

The informant said that he learned this prayer from his mother’s sister when he was a child. He doesn’t remember it completely because he has not recited the prayer in awhile. He said that he was raised Catholic, but that he converted to Buddhism about twenty years ago. However, he still has respect for Catholicism and this prayer. According to the informant, this prayer is unique to Sardinia, especially because there are very unique dialects that vary by region on the island of Sardinia. There are other similar prayers that are normally said before bedtime, but this version has aspects that differ from those versions.

I was not raised Catholic, so I can’t relate to saying prayers before bed, especially about angles. However, I think the prayer is very pretty, especially in Sardinian. There is something a little scary about going to bed, because it’s dark and uncontrollable. When you’re asleep, you could die, which is a fear some people have. Thus, it makes sense that people want to pray before bed. It also can help relax them, which can make falling asleep easier. The main message of the prayer is “don’t be afraid” because you are protected. It serves to  reinforce the power and love of God.