Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Martyr of the Amazon


This Laudato Si’ Reflection
is dedicated
to the life and memory of
Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN,
“Martyr of the Amazon.”

Sr. Dorothy spent over 30 years working as a missionary among the rural farmers and peasants in Amazon Brazil. She struggled tirelessly for land reform and human rights, amidst death threats from wealthy ranchers. On February 12, 2005 while walking on the road she was approached by two gunmen. She pulled out her Bible and began reading from the Beatitudes, ending with the phrase “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.”  After some moments of hesitation, the gunmen fired six shots, killing Sr. Dorothy.

Sr. Dorothy had a great love for creation. She once wrote “I’m trying daily to fill my lungs with the beauty of our cosmos - her energy - so all that is to be woman can be felt in me.”

Take a moment now to take a few deep breaths. Imagine that you are breathing in the beauty of the cosmos. What images come to mind? Can you imagine that this is God breathing life in you to be your fullest person? Give thanks for the gift of creation, of air, and the cosmos.

“We must make great efforts to save our planet. Earth is not able to provide anymore. Her water and air are poisoned and her soil is dying of exaggerated use of chemicals.” Sr. Dorothy Stang

Sr. Dorothy was killed because of her commitment to the poor and the earth. The lives of those fighting for environmental justice continue to be at risk. Brazil is the deadliest place for environmental activists, with at least 57 killed in 2017. In the few months alone, an indigenous leader and two leaders of the landless movement were murdered in Brazil for their justice work.

Join us the month to pray for the safety of all
environmental activists around the world.

Blessed are You, Holy Creator,
Source of all that is good,
Beautiful and whole.

Where wholeness is
splintered or shattered,
goodness damaged or marred,
and beauty bruised or broken,
we ask for healing and deep peace.

Be healing balm for this world;
for all peoples, creatures,
places, events, and for
the environment.

We ask your protection upon
those working to protect Your Creation.
Give them courage and strength of heart.
And enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference or even worse violence.
Adapted from a healing prayer in memory of Sr. Dorothy Stang written by Sr. Teresita Weind SNDdeN