Sunday, July 12, 2015

Now you can dismiss your servant, O Lord ...

"The poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” - Luke 7

“Now I can die peacefully,” said Francisca de Chamorra, an 82-year-old widow who moved to the shanty in 1952. “It’s a miracle that a pope has come to this muddy place.” - pope francis visits bañado norte asuncion paraguay

Francis has referred frequently during his week-long trip tour of South America to the plight of the region’s landless poor, encouraging them to work together.
On Sunday, he said he wanted to visit Banado Norte*, a neighborhood of shacks of plywood and corrugated metal on the banks of the River Paraguay, to encourage residents’ faith despite the difficulties they encounter. In addition to the lack of services, heavy rains regularly burst the Paraguay River banks and turn Banado Norte’s dirt roads into impassable pools of mud.
Francis said he wanted “to see your faces, your children, your elderly, and to hear about your experiences and everything you went through to be here, to have a dignified life and a roof over your heads, to endure the bad weather and the flooding of these last few weeks.”
Some of the estimated 100,000 residents shrieked as Francis walked by, reaching out to touch his white cassock and snap a photo with their cellphones. - Source

*Many residents of Banado Norte are squatters on municipal land who have come from rural areas in the northeastern part of the country where farmland has been increasingly bought up by Brazilians and multi-national companies. - Source

In this May 29, 2015 photo, members of Palacios-Espinola family eat breakfast outside their shack home in the Banado Norte neighborhood of Asuncion, Paraguay. The family said they earn about $100 dollars total per month by collecting and selling aluminum cans and plastic. From left are one-year-old Dana, Victoria, four-year-old Deidamia, Candida and Sergio. JORGE SAENZ — AP Photo
Read more here:

Bonus - On our lack of awareness of problems which affect the poorest of the poor:

This [lack of "awareness of problems which especially affect the excluded"] is due partly to the fact that many professionals, opinion makers, communications media and centres of power, being located in affluent urban areas, are far removed from the poor, with little direct contact with their problems. They live and reason from the comfortable position of a high level of development and a quality of life well beyond the reach of the majority of the world’s population. (49) - Laudato Si'


  1. The beauty of faith, hope and charity is revealed in this eternal encounter between our Holy Father and the beautiful elderly woman. Her face is radiant with joy. What an affirmation of her faith to have endured such poverty and yet towards the end of her life our most Merciful Lord blesses her richly.

    I will treasure this picture and what it means to me to be lifted up from the dust of my poverty and misery now brought before the light of Christ and made whole.

    1. Me too! Can you just imagine her joy that the Pope would visit her place?!

      I'm blown away. I never thought I would see such things.

  2. And somewhere in Heaven Mother Theresa is smiling...

    1. And dancing. ^^

      I never thought to see such faith in action either Terry. And to think there is more to come. Let us all treasure these many precious moments for surely we will need them in the days yet to come.

    2. A friend said almost the same thing about M. Theresa to me. The photo certainly reminds me of her. JPII visited her little hovels as well. After those two died I wondered if we would have another saint to prick the world's conscience - I never imagined this. The more he is criticized, the more I am convinced.

      He gave the Hammer and Sickle crucifix to Our Lady of Copacabana of Bolivia - I never thought one had to be Latino to understand such a votive offering - but perhaps one does.

      Votive offerings - ex votos - often include very strange symbols of illness or sin or disaster overcome or healed - sometimes they are like petitions to be healed. A man might leave his 'little black book' or membership card to a bath house at a shrine to Our Lady - as a promise to sin no more. Another may lay down his weapon. Other's have left crutches or leg braces and so on. This is a very humble gesture of entrusting to Our Lady - undoer of knots - matters which seem impossible to resolve without her aid, or which only she "can crush under her foot".

      Poor Holy Father's critics appear to lack a childlike faith. The poor and the little have faith to see.

    3. The critics appear to lack a childlike faith - you nailed it!

  3. Evidently the Holy Father took the crucifix back to Rome and left something else with Our Lady. No matter what he does or says, the 'experts' are not happy.

    1. Well, I read on that one site that I rarely ever visit that "he says it is travelling with him." Then the blogger proceeds to hyperventilate doom and gloom implying that Papa Panchito is really pro-whatever in disguise. I will take their so-called reporting with a grain of salt but if it be true, so what?

      Did not Christ conquer Nero's circus and as a result of that most glorious victory the obelisk, symbol of Nero's reign of terror, now adorns St. Peter's square for all to see. Are we not reminded of the great sacrifice of the early martyrs and the early Church's gift to us all of handing on the faith? That obelisk is proof the Church endures til the end of time no matter what comes.


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