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What Happened When A Woman Befriended A Homeless Poet

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 09/29/15

"... the worse the situation is, never ever should a man consider it lost"

For 35 years, Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho was homeless in São Paulo, Brazil. Locals knew him as the man who sat in the same spot on what they called “the island,” writing every day. In April 2011, a young woman named Shalla Monteiro befriended him and wanted to help him realize a lifelong dream: to have a book of his poems published. Monteiro started by creating a Facebook page to feature his writing. The rest is not simply history, but now the subject of a beautifully-filmed story which Facebook has featured to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

The friendship Monterio extended and the subsequent reunion of the Arruda-Sobrinho family bring to mind what Pope Francis has urged us to do and be as Christians:

“This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them.”  (Evangelii Gaudium, 198) *** “That we learn to see Jesus in every man weary of life on the road; in every brother hungry or thirsty, it is stripped or sick or in prison. Together with Mother, under the cross, we can figure out who is really ‘the greatest’, and what it means to be united to the Lord and share in his glory.” (Angelus remarks in Cuba) *** “Jesus’ love goes before us, his look anticipates our needs. He can see beyond appearances, beyond sin, beyond failures and unworthiness. He sees beyond our rank in society. He sees beyond this, to our dignity as sons and daughters, a dignity at times sullied by sin, but one which endures in the depth of our soul. He came precisely to seek out all those who feel unworthy of God, unworthy of others. Let us allow Jesus to look at us. Let us allow his gaze to run over our streets. Let us allow that look to become our joy, our hope.” (Papal speech in Holguin, Cuba)

Zoe Romanowsky is Lifestyle Editor and Video Curator for Aleteia

Pope Francis USA
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