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Early life[ edit ] Cardenal was born into an upper-class family in Granada, Nicaragua. One of his brothers was fellow priest Fernando Cardenal. In and , he traveled through Italy , Spain and Switzerland. Cardenal subsequently entered the Trappist Monastery of Gethsemani Kentucky , United States , joining another poet-priest, Thomas Merton , but in , he left to study theology in Cuernavaca , Mexico.
Priesthood[ edit ] Cardenal was ordained a Catholic priest in in Granada. Nicaraguan Revolution[ edit ] Many members of the Solentiname community engaged in the revolutionary process through guerrilla warfare that the FSLN had developed to strike at the regime. Cardenal fled to Costa Rica. Cardenal in Managua in On 19 July , immediately after the Liberation of Managua , he was named Minister of Culture by the new Sandinista government.
He campaigned for a "revolution without vengeance. When Pope John Paul II visited Nicaragua in , he openly scolded Ernesto Cardenal, who knelt before him on the Managua airport runway, for resisting his order to resign from the government, and admonished him: "Usted tiene que arreglar sus asuntos con la Iglesia" "You must fix your affairs with the Church". Cardenal remained Minister of Culture until , when his ministry was closed for economic reasons.
Later career[ edit ] Cardenal left the FSLN in , protesting the authoritarian direction of the party under Daniel Ortega , calling it a "robbery of the people and dictatorship not a revolutionary movement" when he left the government. He has been described as "the most important poet right now in Latin America"  politically and poetically. He was a vocal representative for Nicaragua and a key to understanding the contemporary literary and cultural life of Nicaragua.
He participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project in During a short visit to India , he made a profound impression on a group of writers called the Hungry generation.
After praying for him, I knelt in his bed and asked for his blessing as a priest of the Catholic Church, to which he agreed joyfully. Thank you, Ernesto! Some of his latest works are heavily influenced by his understanding of science and evolution, though it is still in dialogue with his earlier Marxist and Catholic material. And later, you can do it because you have more technical ability to do it.
Now I can do easily things that were impossible for me to do when I was younger. That also happens to painters, I guess, and to all artists and creators. Even politicians mature and become, perhaps, more astute or more cunning.
Epigramas de Ernesto Cardenal
Ernesto Cardenal (1925)
Um epigrama de amor de Ernesto Cardenal musicalizado por Luis Pastor González