Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month #5
"Cuando El Pobre" ("When the Poor Ones"), United Methodist Hymnal no. 434, was composed in 1971 by two Roman Catholic priests from Madrid, Spain: Jose Antonio Olivar and Miguel Manzano. Olivar and Manzano have collaborated on numerous Spanish hymns and songs since Vatican II.
The text of "Cuando El Pobre" was partially inspired by the story of the disciples on their way to Emmaus after the crucifixion of Jesus. At the moment they experienced the greatest sense of loss and abandonment, they found Christ walking beside them (Luke 24:13-35) . However, the text bears closer relationship to Jesus' parable of the great judgment in Matthew 25:31-46. The original opening line of text read "When the poor man…" The hymn text and EL CAMINO tune appeared in Spanish with English translation in the 1983 collection Celebremos, Segunda Parte (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, Discipleship Ministries, 1983).
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