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Cesáreo Gabaráin (April 30, 1936 – April 20, 1991) was a Spanish priest and composer of liturgical songs such as Pescador de hombres (Fisher of Men). He received a Gold Record award in Spain, and his music is well known and sung by Spanish speaking people. He became a hymn-writer when he was thirty and then wrote about five hundred of them. He was trying to write songs that were easy to learn and sing by the entire congregation. His hymns support moments of personal and communal prayer and praise to God.
He was born in Hernani (Guipúzcoa) in 1936. In addition to music, he studied at the Seminary in Zaragoza and at the Seminario Mayor de San Sebastian, from 1946 to 1952. He became a priest in 1959. In the 60's and 70's, he was a chaplain at a colleges and nursing homes. In the 80's, He was an assistant priest in his parish in Madrid and head of a religious department at a college. In 1991, when he was 55 he died of cancer.
Pope John Paul II's Chaplain Prelate, He had 37 albums. He conducted workshops in 22 U.S. cities before dying in Anzuola in 1991. He ministered to cyclists participating in the Tour de France and other athletes. Five of his hyms are in the United Methodist Hymnal, the most popular of which is “Fisher of Men,” with its gentle melody. The hymn was used in two movies. When a tour guide in Palestine said the hymn occurred by Lake Tiberias, the priest smiled. He wrote it in Madrid. “Fisher of Men” has been translated into more than 80 languages.
After his death, a new verse to Demos gracias al Señor was sung by a children's choir: ". . . morning-time the birds sing the praises . . . and you my brother why don't you sing the praises . . . Let's give thanks . . ." A youth pastor was playing his guitar and children were still singing a tune written in 1973.
500 Songs for Evangelism
He was born in the town of Hernani located in Basque Country, northern Spain. He studied music. He went to school to become a priest in the city of San Sebastián on the northern coast of Spain near France. After the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) on church policy, he was allowed a new freedom in hymn-writing style. His songs were often inspired by people he met. He wanted to use song to save more souls. He wrote about 500 songs. He wrote the songs as a teaching tool for church school. He also wrote them to help missionaries. His personal favorites were “Fisher of men” and “Together like brothers” because they were popular. He met Pope John Paul II who liked “Fisher of men”.
- San Pablo Communication http://www.musica.sanpablo.es/02_autores_detalle.php?id_autor=8
- "Cesáreo Gabarain". hymnary.org. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "History of Hymns: Priest bases hymn on call to be ‘fishers of men’". UMR. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- Video on YouTube
- "Demos Gracias al Señor". Oregon Catholic Press. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- Wareing, Laurence, Editor. Lord, you have come to the seashore (StF 558) London, UK: The Methodist Church of Great Britain. Link: http://www.singingthefaithplus.org.uk/?p=1736 Retrieved, July 15, 2013.