The priest Miguel do Sacramento Lopes Gama, known as Padre Carapuceiro, was born in Recife on 29 September 1793, to João Lopes Cardoso Machado and Anna Bernarda do Sacramento Lopes Gama.
Several authors cite 1791 as the year of his birth, but Lopes Gama himself told the Diario de Pernambucoon 6 May 1843, that he was born in 1793.
He devoted himself to religious life, entering the Monastery of St Benedict in Olinda in 1805. He then went on to continue his novitiate at the monastery of St Benedict of Bahia, where he was ordained. Soon after his ordination, he returned to Pernambuco and retired to the Monastery of St Benedict.
In 1817, he was appointed by the governor of Pernambuco, Luiz do Rego Barreto, chair professor of rhetoric at the Olinda Seminary, a discipline that he also taught at the College of Arts until his retirement (with honours) in 1839.
In 1823 he was appointed editor of the Diário do Governo (Government Gazette), and in 1824, director of the National Printing House. He founded and was the only writer of O Carapuceiro (The Bonnet) (1832), a journal of social criticism, which made headlines in the society of the time. He also published in Rio de Janeiro, the newspaper O Carapuceiro na Corte (The Bonnet in the Court).
From 1829 to 1831, he contributed to the newspaper O Constitucional, which defended the representative constitutional monarchy.
He held various positions in the area of education, including the vice-rector of the Olinda Juridical Course, professor of national eloquence, literature, rhetoric and director of the Recife Lyceum, later transformed into the Gymnasium Pernambucano, director of the College of Orphans and visitor of primary and secondary schools in Recife.
He translated and published several papers:
Memória sobre quais são os meios de fundar a moral de um povo (Memoir on What are the Means of Founding the Morality of a People), Count Destutt de Tracy (translation, Recife, 1831).
A Coluneida: poema herói-cômico em quatro cantos (The Coluneida: heroic-comic poem in four verses) (Recife, 1832).
Refutação completa da pestilencial doutrina do interesse, propalada por Hobbes, Hobac, Helvécio, Diderot, J. Bentham, e outros filósofos sensualistas e materialistas, ou introdução aos princípios do Direito Político de Honório Torombert (Complete Refutation of the Pestilencial Doctrine of Interest, Propagated by Hobbes, D’Holbac, Helvetius, Diderot, J. Bentham, and Other Sensualist and Materialist Philosophers, or the Introduction to the Political Law Principles of Honoré Torombert) (translation, Recife, 1837)
Princípios gerais de economia pública e industrial, em forma de conversações (General Principles of Public and Industrial Economics, in a Conversation Form) by P. GH. Suzanne (translation, Recife, 1837).
A religião cristã demonstrada pela conversão e apostolado de S. Paulo (Observations on the Conversion and Apostleship of St Paul) by Lyttleton (translation, Recife, 1839).
Novo curso de filosofia redigido segundo o novo programa para bacharel em letras (New Philosophy Course Redesigned According to a New Graduation Programme in Letters) by E. Geruzez (translation, Recife, 1840, 2.ed.)
Observações críticas sobre o romance do senhor Eugenio Sue, o Judeu errante (Critical Remarks on the Novel by Sir Eugene Sue, the Wandering Jew) (Recife, 1850).
Uma lição acadêmica sobre a pena de morte (An Academic Lesson on the Death Penalty) by Carmignani (translation, Recife, 1850).
Lições de eloqüência nacional (Lessons of National Eloquence)
(Rio de Janeiro, 1946, 2.v.; Recife, 1951, 2nd ed.).
Dos deveres dos homens. Discurso dirigido a um mancebo (Of the Duties of Men. A Discourse Directed at a Young Man) by Silvio Pellico (translation, Recife, 1852).
Seleta clássica para leitura e análise gramatical nas escolas de instrução elementar, e para análise oratória e poética nas aulas de retórica (Classical Anthology for Reading and Grammatical Analysis in Elementary Schools, and for Oratory and Poetic Analysis in Rhetoric Classes) (translation, Recife, 1866).In addition to being the sole writer of O Carapuceiro, he was a contributor to the Diario de Pernambuco and Marmota Fluminense of Rio de Janeiro (1852), where he wrote a series of articles under the title The Provincial Philosopher in Court to his Friend in the Province, about the habits and customs in Rio, as well as literature and theatre. He also published in the same newspaper, under the pseudonym O Solitário (The Loner), several poems and an article entitled Women and Their Character.
He was a representative in the Pernambuco Provincial Assembly in the legislature from 1835 to 1837, and in 1852 was elected representative of the province of Alagoas to the national parliament (House of Representatives).
Canon and Imperial Chapel preacher, he also received the award of the Order of Christ. In 1839, he became a secular priest and left the Benedictines.
Michael of Sacramento Lopes Gama, Padre Carapuceiro, died on 9 December 1852, and was buried in the Recife Public Cemetery.
Recife, 23 April 2008.
(Updated on 31 August 2009)
Translated by Peter Leamy, March 2012.
COSTA, Francisco Augusto Pereira da. Diccionario biographico de pernambucanos celebres. Recife: Typographia Universal, 1882. p. 723-727.
GAMA, Miguel do Sacramento Lopes. O Carapuceiro, 1932-1842. Prefácio de Leonardo Dantas Silva; estudo introdutório de Luiz do Nascimento. Recife: Prefeitura, Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1883. Edição fac-similar.
MELLO, José Antônio Gonsalves de. O padre Lopes Gama e o Diario de Pernambuco 1840-1845. In: SILVA, Leonardo Dantas (Org.). O Carapuceiro. Recife: Fundaj, Ed. Massangana, 1996. p. 7-93. 187 p. (Obras de consulta, 17).
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Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Padre Carapuceiro. Pesquisa Escolar Online. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar_en/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009