In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI visited the mother community of Fazenda da Esperança in Guaratinguetá, Brazil.
In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI visited the mother community of Fazenda da Esperança in Guaratinguetá, Brazil. For this historic occasion, more than 5,000 Fazenda people from all the 45 communities from nine countries around the world gathered. Fazenda Philippines was able to send a group of 14 patients, ex-patients and volunteers.
The Holy Father was very much moved by the testimonies of the young people, sharing how through God’s grace and the love of the community they found a way out of their addictions and discovered God’s love in their lives.
In his speech he expressed his love and care for the Fazenda community and each of its members. He encouraged Fazenda people to be “Ambassadors of Hope!”
For the young people from Fazenda it was an unforgettable moment in their life, to see and hear the Pope, and he would not leave before descending from the stage and shaking hands with all of them.
The photo with of the Holy Father in the midst of a group of drug addicts, coming to them as a loving father and caring pastor was at the front page of all Brazilian newspapers the following day. Since then, all Fazenda communities in Brazil are overcrowded, with long waiting lists, even though since then more than 15 new communities could be opened in Brazil alone.