Bernardo and the Virgin

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Northwestern University Press, Jun 13, 2005 - Fiction - 446 pages
3 Reviews
In 1980, with the Sandinistas newly in power, tailor and pig farmer Bernardo Martinez witnesses an extraordinary thing: an otherworldly glow about the statue of the Virgin Mary in the church where he works as sacristaacute;n. Soon the Holy Virgin appears. She tells Bernardo to forget his money problems and fear of ridicule and spread her message of peace and faith to his neighbors. Though a work of fiction, Bernardo and the Virgin is based on actual events in Bernardo Martinez's life. The visitation of the Virgin Mary at Cuapa, Nicaragua, remains one of the few such events accepted by the Roman Catholic Church in the last sixty years. Silvio Sirias' sweeping novel tells many stories: that of a humble man touched by the transcendent; that same man as a devout boy denied the priesthood because of poverty; and those in his orbit, past and present. It is also the stormy epic of Nicaragua through the long Somoza years to the Sandinista revolution. Sirias' beautiful language mixes English with Spanish and details of dusty village life with wondrous images of Catholic mysticism. His portrayal of the rich recent past of Central America resonates with the experiences of both the natives and the thriving communities of Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, and others putting down roots in the United States.

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Review: Bernardo and the Virgin: A Novel

User Review  - Jennifer O'leary - Goodreads

I actually loved this book. It was a beautiful rendition of an actual event of the Virgin Mary appearing to a man in Nicaragua and the backdrop of this happening amidst the Revolution in the 1980's ... Read full review

Review: Bernardo and the Virgin: A Novel

User Review  - Lucy Pollard-Gott - Goodreads

Sirias chose to report his research on the Marian Apparition at Cuapa, Nicaragua in the form of a novel, which is also a prism for viewing the political turmoil of that country through many different ... Read full review


Radix Sancta The Holy Root of Salvation
Visio Opprobii The Apparition of the Reproach

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About the author (2005)

SILVIO SIRIAS is Academic Dean at Ave Maria College of the Americas in San Marcos, Nicaragua. He has taught courses in Spanish language and Literature, and has written scholarly articles on Alvarez and other Hispanic poets. Sirias is the editor of Salomon de la Selva's Tropical Town and Other Poems. He also co-edited, with Bruce Dick, Conversations with Rudolfo Anaya.

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