Jacint Verdaguer

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This is a Catalan name. The first family name is Verdaguer and the second is Santaló.
Jacint Verdaguer
Jacint Verdaguer Monument.JPG
Jacint Verdaguer monument on Plaça de Mossèn Jacint Verdaguer in Barcelona
Born (1845-05-17)May 17, 1845
Folgueroles, Spain
Died June 10, 1902(1902-06-10) (aged 57)
Vallvidrera (Barcelona), Spain
Occupation Poet, priest
Literary movement Renaixença, Romanticism
Notable works Canigó, L'Atlàntida

Statue honoring the poet on top of the Mare de Déu del Mont

Jacint Verdaguer i Santaló (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒəˈsim bərðəˈɣe]) (May 17, 1845 – June 10, 1902) was a Spanish writer, regarded as one of the greatest poets of Catalan literature and a prominent literary figure of the Renaixença, a national revival movement of the late Romantic era. The bishop Josep Torras i Bages, one of the main figures of Catalan nationalism, called him the "Prince of Catalan poets". He was also known as mossèn Cinto Verdaguer, because of his career as a priest.


He was born in Folgueroles, a town on the Plain of Vic, in the comarca of Osona. His father was Josep Verdaguer i Ordeix (Tavèrnoles, 1817 – Folgueroles, 1876) and his mother was Josepa Santaló i Planes (Folgueroles, 1819–1871). He was the third of eight children, only three of whom survived. In 1856 at the age of 11 he entered the Seminary of Vic. Until he entered the Seminary he lived like the other children in his town. The anecdotes told about him show that he stood out from his peers for his intelligence, astuteness and courage, helped by his athletic complexion. He showed a normally balanced compassion without any apparent religious inclinations.

In 1863, when he was 18, he started to work as a teacher for a family at Can Tona (where he also helped out on the farm), while he continued to study. Can Tona is in the municipal district of Sant Martí de Riudeperes, today Calldetenes. In 1865, he participated in Barcelona's Jocs Florals—or "Floral Games"—poetry contest and won four prizes. The next year he won two prizes in the same Jocs Florals.

On 24 September 1870, he was ordained a priest by the bishop Lluís Jordà in Vic, and in October that same year, he said his first Mass in Sant Jordi hermitage. The next day he said his second Mass in Sant Francesc hermitage near Vic. In 1871, his mother died on January 17 at the age of 52. On September 1 he was appointed bishop coadjutor of Vinyoles d'Orís and three days later he took possession.

In 1873, he published Passió de Nostre Senyor Jesucrist (Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ). He left Vinyoles d'Orís for health reasons and went to Vic. He went on a trip to Roussillon and saw the Canigou, maybe for the first time. In December, he joined the Companyia Transatlàntica as a chaplain because he was prescribed sea air for his health; he embarked in Cádiz bound for Havana.

In 1876, on September 8 his father died at the age of 65. On board the "Ciudad Condal", on the return voyage from Cuba, Jacint Verdaguer finished his epic poem L’Atlàntida. In November he entered the palace of the Marquis of Comillas as an alms chaplain.

In 1877, when he was 32, and having returned from his journey, the jury of the Jocs Florals awarded him the special prize of the Diputation of Barcelona for L'Atlàntida. Now he had earned his reputation as a poet.

In 1878, he traveled to Rome, where he was granted an audience with the Pope Leo XIII. They talked about Verdaguer's poem L'Atlàntida. In 1880, as the winner of three prizes in the Jocs Florals, he was proclaimed Mestre en Gai Saber. That same year he published his book Montserrat.

In 1883, he published Oda a Barcelona (Ode to Barcelona), and the city council of Barcelona produced a printrun of a hundred thousand copies. At the age of 39 Verdaguer traveled to Paris, Switzerland, Germany and Russia. On March 21, 1886, when he was 41 years old, the bishop Morgades crowned him as Poet of Catalonia in the monastery of Ripoll. He published the epic poem Canigó and made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

In 1893, following controversy about aspects of his work as a priest, he left the post of alms chaplain at the Marques of Comillas' palace. The publication of the trilogy Jesús Infant was completed, and he was assigned to the sanctuary of la Gleva. For a period, he was stripped of his office as priest, although this was eventually restored. In 1894 the books Roser de tot l'any and Veus del bon pastor were published. On March 31 he left the sanctuary of la Gleva.

On 17 May 1902, on his 57th birthday, he moved from his home at Carrer Aragó, 235 in Barcelona to the country house known as Vil·la Joana, in Vallvidrera (Barcelona), where he hoped to convalesce. On June 10, he died in Vil·la Joana. Nowadays the Vil·la Joana house is one of the Barcelona City History Museum (MUHBA) heritage sites.

Verdaguer was buried in the Sud-Oest Montjuïc Cemetery in Barcelona.

Selected works[edit]

Verdaguer seen by Ramon Casas (MNAC).

Among his works are:

The scenic cantata Atlàntida, composed by Manuel de Falla and completed after de Falla's death by Ernesto Halffter, is based on Verdaguer's L'Atlàntida. Manuel de Falla considered this large-scale orchestral piece to be the most important of all his works.

Some of his shorter poems are well known as songs in Catalonia, especially L'Emigrant ("Sweet Catalonia, country of my heart...").

Verdaguer's works are collected in English in Selected Poems of Jacint Verdaguer: A Bilingual Edition, edited and translated by Ronald Puppo, with an introduction by Ramon Pinyol i Torrents, University of Chicago Press, 2007.

See also[edit]


  • This article draws heavily on the corresponding article in the Catalan-language Wikipedia, which was accessed in the version of December 21, 2005.

External links[edit]