Rafaela Pinto has won the Thirty-Fifth Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry

The book of poetry You, the Light by the Argentine poetess Rafaela Pinto has won the Thirty-Fifth Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry (consisting of €7,000 and the publication […]


The book of poetry You, the Light by the Argentine poetess
Rafaela Pinto has won the
Thirty-Fifth Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry
(consisting of €7,000 and the publication of the work)

Honorable Mention was accorded to two works among the twelve finalists: God Alone Suffices by the Spaniard Teresa de Jesús Rodríguez Lara and The Eternity Dwelling in My Memory by the Cuban poetess Yanira Marimón Rodríguez

This evening, at the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See, the Jury’s decision will be publicly announced. You, the Light by Rafaela Pinto is, in the judgment of the Jury, the work which best reflects the spirit of the Prize. It was selected from among 279 submissions from 31 countries.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, sent a message for the event in which he states that “the mystical dimension does not mean separating oneself from the earth to move towards remote heavens, but to tend towards what is eternal and infinite with one’s feet firmly placed in the dust of history.” In quoting the words of the French writer André Gide, he adds, “Without the mystical, we cannot attain to anything great.”

Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, Archivist and Librarian of the Holy See, will preside at the event. In his introductory remarks, he stresses the universality of mystical poetry, along with its apostolic and charismatic dimensions:

“The Prize welcomes all religions and conceptions, provided they remain open to the deepest meaning of life, what Rielo terms ‘the pain of love,’ the ‘mystery of suffering’ present in every human being.

…Mystical poetry is apostolic and charismatic: it fascinates us, leads us towards ecstasy, and conveys to us, through the musical, visual, and interpretive instrument which is the human word, the modulations and resonances of the divine presence in our spirit. Mystical poetry, in its clearest and most sublime manifestations, has the power to convert the human heart with the fire of divine love and to unite hearts to one another. Accordingly, if ‘God is poetry,’ as Fernando Rielo affirms, Christ comes to set us aflame with the blaze of his unitive word.”

In regard to the prize-winning work, the Jury states that “the poems in You, the Light are endowed with notable expressive power and are unleashed like bursts of impassioned feeling; they harbor a longing, questioning heart. A thirst for love, warmth, and meaning pervades them, and their ardent sincerity is a characteristic note. The speaker thus reveals the state of being a “spirit in ruins” that, in abandoning itself in the hands of God, opens itself to “the dimension of what is hoped for.” On this journey the desire for union, together with an awareness of the limits of one’s condition, finds an answer to all of life’s questions and rest in the Truth becoming life in the certainty that Love alone saves. This mystical love to which the poetess aspires is clearly brought out in the following lines: “I love You am yours and in You grow / You dwell in my spaces sail through my blood / speak in my silence / sustain me in your light / in awaiting You I remain.”

In view of the quality of the works presented this year, the Jury unanimously accorded Honorable Mention to two finalists: Spanish Poetess Teresa de Jesús Rodríguez Lara (God Alone Suffices) and Cuban Poetess Yanira Marimón Rodríguez (The Eternity Dwelling in My Memory).

The address prepared by Rev. Jesús Fernández Hernández, President of the Fernando Rielo Foundation, to conclude the event made numerous references to the Founder of the Prize.

“…On December 14, 1999 Rielo stated that “mystical poets are witnesses to the highest values of union with the Absolute; they are thus prophetic voices which, even in the midst of obstacles, speaks in inspired fashion, edify, and lay the foundations for the present and the future by instituting the kingdom of love with their own blood…. Prophets teach with the cutting edge of a word penetrating intelligence, edify with the example of a life of martyrdom moving the will, and unite with the unguent of an ecstatic energy liberating freedom from every force leading to dispersion. This, then, is the mission of mystical poets: to teach, to edify, to unite. And they do so with the pain of love: the gift of tears of which the weeping of their spirit consists.”

The President of the Foundation also quoted words by the Founder of the Prize on December 10, 1990.

“It is left for us to invoke the greatest poet: Christ, by means of love, raises tragedy to the highest lyricism, sculpted into a pure Word: a Word of incarnate gold and redeeming blood. I unite myself to Him as a man, bleeding humanity; to Arabic prophecy, for Christ is a prophet; to the Jewish race, for He belongs to that race; to every religion, for He is the Anointed One; to the atheist and the agnostic, for Christ is their brother. This is the time when poets must become the proclamation of a mystical peace which engenders only peace, which engenders only love: love and its beauty, even if there is dark mist.”

The event concluded with a Concert by Harpist María Rosa Calvo-Manzano in which she performed a varied repertoire of composers, including Salzedo, Gombau, Albéniz, and herself.


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