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Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, the Brazilian candidate that survived a shooting

2013-02-25

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"I felt that calling early on. I remember I was about seven years old, during my first Communion. There was a decision, a light, something very beautiful, which continued to grow after. The vocation was something very particular because this call from Jesus was a personal choice that He makes and we don't know how to explain.”

When he was 36 years old, he was on his way to help another priest when he came across several people robbing an armored van. Joao Braz de Aviz was shot in the crossfire and was seriously injured.

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"This was a very difficult moment when I thought my life would end, I was 36 years old. I asked Jesus, 'But why are you letting me go at 36 years old?' The internal answer was, 'I left at 33, so you have three more years.' I then asked Jesus for 10 more years, perhaps to be better. After those 10 years, came the calling to the episcopal ministry and I thought he said, 'Up until here you've asked me for life and I've given it to you. Now you must give your life forever.' And I am looking to do precisely that.” 

In 1994, John Paul II named him bishop of Fenucleta in Brazil, and in 2004, archbishop of Brasilia. He is well-known for his accessibility and his frequent visits to his parishes.

In 2011, Benedict XVI named him prefect for the Congregation for Consecrated Life. During those two years, he visited many religious communities throughout the world to stay in close touch with their members.


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