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Letter of the Holy Father to participants in the Sixth “Semana Social Brasileira”, 20.03.2024

The following is the Letter sent by the Holy Father Francis to the participants in the Sixth Semana Social Brasileira taking place from 22 to 22 March 2024 in Brasilia on the theme “O Brasil que queremos, o Bem Viver dos Povos” (“The Brazil we want, the good life of peoples”):


Letter of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters,

With a heart full of hope, I address all the participants in the Sixth Semana Social Brasileira, organized by the NCBB's Episcopal Pastoral Commission for Socio-Transformative Action under the theme "The Brazil we want, the good life of peoples". I would like to assure you of my closeness and my prayers for the success of the meeting and its fruits.

Since its first edition in 1991, the Semana Social Brasileira has presented itself as a path towards an “outgoing Church”, committed to breaking down the walls of rejection and indifference, accompanying the poorest and those most deprived of their basic rights in their struggle for land, housing and work.

In addition, it proposes a new, more solidarity-based economy, and the revitalization of democratic values that help build a society where there is true popular participation in the nation's decision-making processes. I warmly thank you for this commitment and also for promoting, together with the youth of Brazil, the "Economy of Clare and Francis”.

I am also grateful to you for promoting the call, which I addressed to the participants of the World Meeting of Popular Movements in 2014, to respond to “a very concrete longing, something that every father, every mother, wants for their children; a longing that should be within everyone's reach, but which today we see, with sadness, increasingly distant from being a reality in the lives of most people: land, home and work” (Speech, 28 October 2014).

I am grateful to you for promoting my call to participants in the World Meeting of Popular Movements in 2014 to respond to “a very concrete desire, something that any father and mother would want for their children – a desire for what should be within everyone’s reach, namely land, housing and work” (Address to World Meeting of Popular Movements, 28 October 2014).

I also hope that Mutirão pela vida (“Working together for life”), organically linked to the Semana Social Brasiliera, may bear abundant fruits in favour of a more just society, in which, as this year's Fraternity Campaign says, universal fraternity and social friendship are experienced.

In this sense, let us try to see in those who are forced to live in misery, as a result of social injustices, the face of Jesus who urges us not to remain indifferent, because, as He Himself said: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40)!

As I entrust these pleas and prayers to the intercession of Our Lady Aparecida, Queen and Patroness of Brazil, I extend my heartfelt blessing to you all, and ask you not to forget to pray for me.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 2 March 2024