International Institute pays tribute to José Maria Bártolo

September 24, 2021

Marco Carvalho

Recently deceased, José Maria Bártolo will be posthumously honored on October 8th by the International Institute of Macau and by the Saint Joseph’s Seminary Alumni Association. The two institutions joined forces to publish Pétalas ao Vento (Petals in the Wind, in a free translation), the last book written by the late former contributor to O Clarim.

On October 8th, the Saint Joseph’s Seminary Alumni Association and the International Institute of Macau (IIM) will posthumously publish the latest poetic work by José Maria Bártolo, a former student of the Seminary and a former contributor to O Clarim, who died on the 26th of July, aged 80.

Entitled Pétalas ao Vento (Petals in the Wind), the book will be unveiled by former colleagues of Bártolo at Saint Joseph’s Seminary, the Secretary General of the International Institute of Macau announced on Facebook

The Institute was previously involved with the publication of two other books by José Maria Bártolo, although the production of the volumes was funded by the Saint Joseph’s Seminary Alumni Association, of which Bártolo was an influential member: “Former colleagues of the author will unveil this third book of poems, which is the result of a collection of verses José Maria Bártolo had prepared over many years. In those poems, he celebrates life, he comments on current events, he evokes loved ones, he gives advice to the youth and lectures, in loose rhymes, where he gives rise to his poetic vein,” Rufino Ramos explains. 

The publication of Pétalas ao Vento was being prepared when José Maria Bártolo died at the end of July, due to a long-term illness. Born in Mogadouro, in the Portuguese region of Trás-os-Montes, the former seminarian published, with the support of the Association, two other poetry volumes. In A Última Pérola: Macau (The Last Pearl: Macau) – an epic poem in which he tells the history of Macau from its foundation to the handover – and in Arengas à Lua, Bártolo demonstrates a solid classical training and an undeniable love for the city that welcomed him more than sixty years ago.

A former employee of O Clarim, where he found solace and support after giving up his ecclesiastical career, José Maria Bártolo worked in the Land and Public Works Bureau and in the Official Press. José Martia Bártolo retired In November 1993, but he continued to work for the now extinct Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, helping the department to make a more rigorous use of the Portuguese language.In addition to the launch of Pétalas ao Vento, the tribute session to José Maria Bártolo will also encompass the presentation of a second book, of a historical nature, written by Manuel Basílio. Sítios com Histórias (Places with Histories, in a free translation) will be unveiled by Eduardo Tavares, another former student of Saint Joseph’s Seminary.