Saint Francis and Saint Therese are the bastions of the Shalom vocation, providing us with models of prayer and love for God above all things. God’s providence led the founder of the Community, Moysés Azevedo, and the co-founder, Emmir Nogueira, to the writings and the history of these two saints.
Poverty, spousal love, smallness, prayer, fraternal life, praise, and penance are some aspects of the life of a Saint that is present in the Shalom spirituality. From St.Therese, the Shalom charisma receives the inspiration of personal, daily and contemplative prayer, of being still with God. From prayer, the Shalom charism manifests itself in all its beauty and parrhesia of this time, as a Church that demands a new evangelization.
They are “masters of spiritual life” and their teachings constitute “safe paths that the Catholic mystical tradition presents to us and together with the experience of the Holy Spirit, form the basis of the spirituality of our vocation“, according to the Statutes of the Shalom Community.
The director of the Parrhesia Institute, Josefa Alves, explained that celebrating the bastions of our vocation, Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Teresa of Ávila, is indeed very important. “It is to immerse ourselves in our spirituality, in an essential aspect of our spirituality and renew our call to poverty, to smallness, to praise, to spousal love; as Saints Francis and Therese say that God alone is enough,” she added.
The inspiration of St. Francis as a bastion and column of the Shalom vocation initially came to the film “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” and from reading the book “Brother of Assisi” when Moysés Azevedo had a unique experience.
“There must be a total renunciation, and not only of the unlawful things but also of the lawful things, in order to love and serve God. With this first touch of St.Francis, this renunciation speaks to us very intimately. The poverty that St. Francis lived, his specific calling, was unique to the Church“, explained Moysés Azevedo in a talk about the influence of the Saint in the vocation of the Shalom Community.
At the time of the founding of the Community, Archbishop Aloysius Lorscheider was the Bishop of Fortaleza. Moysés asked him for guidance on the spirituality of the Shalom vocation. The bishop, who was a Franciscan and doctor of spirituality, encouraged us to read St. Therese of Ávila.
“St. Therese and St. Francis influenced us immensely. They came into the hearts of Moyses and myself, shaping them not so that we became Franciscans or Carmelites, but together with the spirituality of the Renewal from Therese and Francis and the spirit of our founder there emerged what we now call the Shalom spirituality” said Emmir Nogueira, in a preaching about the theme.