Bernardo and the Virgin: A Novel

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Northwestern University Press, Apr 27, 2007 - Fiction - 463 pages
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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 sacrist 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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Bernardo and the Virgin is based on “actual events—in the eyes of many”. It is a book about miracles juxtaposed against the backdrop of revolution. The story begins in 1980 as the Sandinistas have ... Read full review


Hyperdulia The Veneration of Our Lady19311945 Padre Orlando García Sánchez
Transitus The Journey19541978 Blanca Arias
Radix Sancta The Holy Root of Salvation June and July 1979 Elías Bacon
Partus The Birth December 1980 Sofía Velázquez
Ecclesiae The Church March 1981 Father Damian MacManus
O Felix Culpa Oh Happy Sin October 14 1982 Flor de María Gómez
Protospathari The Royal GuardFebruary 1983 Tatiana Altamirano
Theotokos The GodBearer November 1988 Germán Sotelo
Kekaritomene Thou That Art Highly Favored November 1993 Paulina Thompson
Aeiparthenos Ever Virgin August 20 1995 Sor Milagros Tijerino
Humilitas Humility January 15 2000 Nicolás Salazar
Hypapante The Meeting May 8 2000 Padre Ginés Hidalgo and the Pilgrims
Koimesis To Sleep Eternal November 22 2000 Diego Miranda

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Page 10 - He looked at me out of the corner of his eye. I pretended not to notice it, however, and still rolled the leaf of my cigar.

References to this book

Moon Nicaragua
Joshua Berman,Randall Wood
No preview available - 2008

About the author (2007)

Silvio Sirias was born in Los Angeles and he grew up there and in Nicaragua. His other works include writing Julia Alvarez: A Critical Literary Companion (Greenwood, 2002), editing Salomon de la Selva's Tropical Town and Other Poems (Arte Publico Press, 1999), and co-editing Conversations with Rudolfo Anaya (University Press of Mississippi, 1998). Sirias is currently an associate professor at Florida State University-Panama.

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