May 12: at the Fazenda da Esperança, Benedict XVI appeals to drug dealers

Source: FSSPX News

Benedict XVI recalled then that Brazil’s statistics concerning drug abuse and other forms of chemical dependency were among the highest, before deploring that Latin America as a whole was affected by this plague. “I therefore urge the drug-dealers to reflect on the grave harm they are inflicting on countless young people and adults from every level of society: God will call you to account for your deeds,” he warned them. “Human dignity cannot be trampled upon in this way,” he affirmed.

“Reintegration in society undoubtedly demonstrates the effectiveness of your initiative,” continued Benedict XVI. Yet for the pope what attracts even greater admiration are “the conversion, the rediscovery of God and active participation in the life of the Church.”

The Holy Father lastly wished to show his “appreciation for this work, which has the charism of Saint Francis and the spirituality of the Focolare Movement as its spiritual foundation.” After having blessed the founder of the “Fazenda da Esperança,” Brother Hans Stapel, he greeted the “other institutions throughout the world which work to rebuild and renew the lives of these brothers and sisters of ours present in our midst.”

Before meeting with the youth of the “Farm of Hope”, Benedict XVI had gone to the new chapel of the institution, the first to be dedicated to Saint Galvão for a short time of prayer and to greet the community of Poor Clare Nuns present on the premises.

To reach the “Fazenda da Esperança”, the pope drove some 20 miles through the countryside, and was greeted by thousands of inhabitants, who had been waiting in front of their homes since dawn. All along the roads were banners reading: “Saudamus o santo Papa Bento XVI.” He also drove past the house where Brother Antonio de Sant’Anna Galvão was born, whom he had canonized the day before in São Paulo.

The “Fazenda da Esperança” the Farm of Hope, founded by the German Franciscan Hans Stapel, in 1979, is located in the middle of green hills in the Brazilian region of the Serra da Matiqueira, between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It possesses some thirty communities in Brazil and is also present in Paraguay, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, the Philippines, Russia, and Mozambique. On the occasion of his visit, Benedict XVI decided to donate 100,000 US$ to the institution founded by his fellow countryman. The day before, the papal entourage had made known that the pope had also promised 200,000 US$ to a project of the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference in favor of the Amazon Basin.