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Ernesto Cardenal

Nicaraguan priest and politician (1925-2020)

Ernesto Cardenal is ...


Born 20 January 1925 in Granada
Died 1 March 2020 in Managua
Age 95 years, 2 months
Cause chronic kidney disease and cardiac arrest

Sex or gender male
Country of citizenship Nicaragua
Birth name Ernesto Cardenal Mart\u00ednez
Manner of death natural causes
Sibling Fernando Cardenal
Occupation poet, Catholic priest, sculptor, painter, theologian, translator, politician, Catholic priest, writer and visual artist
Position held culture minister
Awards Order of Augusto César Sandino, Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Poetry Award, Austrian Decoration for Science and Art, Reina Sofía Award, Theodor Wanner Prize, honorary doctor of the University of Wuppertal, Order of José Martí, honorary doctorate of the University of Valencia, honorary doctorate of the University of Granada, honorary doctor of Veracruzana University and Honorary doctor of the University of Huelva
Genre lyricism
Influenced by Thomas Merton
Member of Academia Mexicana de la Lengua, Academy of Arts, Berlin and Casa de los tres mundos
Significant event holy orders
Relative Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal
Educated at Columbia University and Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, UNAM
Field of work Liberation theology

About Ernesto Cardenal

Ernesto Cardenal, the Nicaraguan poet, priest, and politician, passed away on March 1, 2020, at the age of 95. He was a towering figure in Latin American literature and politics, and his life and work were marked by a deep commitment to social justice and liberation theology.

Born on January 20, 1925, in Granada, Nicaragua, Cardenal was the son of a wealthy family. He studied literature and philosophy in Mexico and later in New York, where he became involved in leftist politics and joined the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

In the 1950s, Cardenal returned to Nicaragua and became a Trappist monk, living in a monastery in Kentucky. He later left the monastery and founded a community of artists and writers in Solentiname, a group of islands in Lake Nicaragua. There, he developed his unique style of poetry, which blended political and religious themes with a deep love of nature and the natural world.

Cardenal's poetry was deeply influenced by his political beliefs and his commitment to social justice. He was a vocal critic of the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua and played a key role in the Sandinista revolution that overthrew the regime in 1979. He served as the Minister of Culture in the Sandinista government and was a close ally of the revolutionary leader Daniel Ortega.

Despite his political activism, Cardenal remained a committed Catholic and was ordained a priest in 1965. He saw his work as a poet and a priest as complementary, and his poetry often explored the intersection of faith and politics.

Cardenal's work was widely celebrated in Latin America and beyond, and he was awarded numerous honors and awards, including the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry in 2009. His poetry has been translated into many languages and has been praised for its beauty, its political and social relevance, and its spiritual depth.

Cardenal's life and work were marked by a deep commitment to social justice and liberation theology, and he will be remembered as one of the most important poets and political figures of his generation. His legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.


- "Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan Poet and Priest, Dies at 95." The New York Times, March 2, 2020.

- "Ernesto Cardenal: Poet, Priest, Revolutionary." The Guardian, March 2, 202

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