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New Brazilian Cardinal: “I've always had the grace to work with those who suffer the most”


This is Sergio Da Rocha, the Archbishop of Brazil and one of the 13 new cardinals created in the last consistory by Pope Francis. Cardinal Da Rocha says he could not hide his surprise when he learned that he would collaborate with the Pope as a cardinal. 

"I would say it was a great surprise of the mercy of God, because I see this gesture as one from a pope of goodness, who Francis is, and at the same time, as a sign of God's mercy. I would say that this could only happen in the Holy Year, yet it has happened, I have been made a cardinal in the Year of Mercy.” 

His episcopal motto, "Omnia caritate”, all charity, which was made popular in 2001, expresses the spirit that he has tried to practice since he became a bishop during John Paul II's pontificate. 

"I have always had the grace to work with people who suffer the most, I've worked with the poorest, the sick, the goal is clear: to try to live to be as holy as God is holy, and to love as God loves. In fact, this is what leads to a full life.” 

When he was consecrated bishop, Cardinal Da Rocha was among the youngest from Brazil. Last year, he was elected president of Brazil's National Bishop Conference, which is the largest episcopal conference in the world. 

Now at 55, he joins a list of cardinals who are eligible to vote for the next pope. 

He is considered a bishop who has always paid special attention to the poor and marginalized, especially judging from his pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Teresina and Fortaleza. Cardinal Da Rocha says that in his opinion, helping the poor is a necessary action in the life of someone who chooses the priesthood as his vocation. 

Archbishop of Brazil (Brasil)
"A priest by nature is associated with prayer and the Eucharist. But we must be careful not to reduce the priest to the altar, like that is the only part of the life of a priest, because the life of a priest extends beyond that. All his life he is a priest.”

Brazil has 5 cardinals who are eligible to vote for the next pope, making one of the most represented countries in a possible conclave, behind only Italy and the United States.