Ndre Mjeda (1866-1937)

Born in Albania, Ndre Mjeda was an Albanian poet. He was influenced by the Jesuit writer Anton Xanoni and the Franciscan poet Leonardo De Martino. From 1880 until 1887, Mjeda studied literature at the Carthusian monastery of Porta Coeli, in Valencia, Spain, rhetoric, Latin and Italian in Croatia at a Jesuit institution, at the Gregorian University in Rome, and at another Gregorian college in Chieri, Italy. During these studies, Mjeda began to write Albanian poetry. Some of his most famous poems include Vaji i Bylbylit (The Nightingale’s Lament) (1887) and Vorri i Skanderbegut (Skanderbeg‘s grave). Mjeda also taught music in Cremona, Italy, at the College of Marco Girolamo Vida from 1887 to 1891, and translated various religious literature. He published Jeta e sceitit sc’ Gnon Berchmans (The Life of St John Berchmans) (1888), and T’ perghjamit e Zojs Bekume (Imitation of the Holy Virgin) (1892), a translation from Spanish, Katekizmi i Madh (The Great Catechism), another translation, and Historia e Shejtë (Sacred History). Mjeda later on studied theology at the Jesuit college in Kraków, Poland, and taught philosophy and philology, as well as served as a librarian at the Gregorian college in Kraljevica, where he was also appointed professor of logic and metaphysics. He was expelled in 1898 after a conflict between Austria-Hungary and the Vatican. Mjeda served as a member of the Literary Commission, in Shkodër, under the Austro-Hungarian administration, as well as a deputy in the National Assembly of Albania. He left politics after Fan Noli‘s defeat, and the rise of King Zog. He then served as a parish priest in Kukël, and taught the Albanian language and literature at the Jesuit college in Shkodër until his death.
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