The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, February 7, 2020
Dom Helder Camara of Recife (1909—1999)
Born February 7, 1909, in Fortazela, Brazil, Dom Helder Camara became a bishop of the Catholic Church and one of the twentieth century’s great apostles of nonviolence. After joining a conservative political movement as a young priest, Camara experienced a conversion while ministering among the poor in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. “When I fed the poor they called me a saint,” Camara said. “When I asked why they were poor, they called me a Communist.” Labeled “the red bishop,” Camara worked tirelessly for democracy and human rights in Brazil, even as he watched friends and fellow priests imprisoned, tortured, and killed. When a hired assassin knocked on the elderly Camara’s door, he was so moved by the sight of the bishop that he blurted out, “I can’t kill you. You are one of the Lord’s.”
Bishop Camara wrote, “To walk alone is possible, but the good walker knows that the great trip is life and it requires companions.”
Lord, though each of us rises alone to start this new day, bind us to the faith of the saints who have gone before us, and guide us to walk with our brothers and sisters in community. Amen.