Irmã Dulce Pontes

Congresso Brasileiro de Turismo Religioso 41971370982

Feast Day: August 13
Beatified: May 22, 2011
Canonized: October 13, 2019

Sister Dulce, known as the Mother Teresa of Brazil, was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, in 1914. Dulce was moved to help people. She entered religious life at the age of eighteen, dedicating her life to God and the poor. Dulce was a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. For the rest of her life, her heart would always belong to the poor and the abandoned.

Dulce began taking care of the homeless and the beggars in her own neighborhood. As the years progressed, Dulce cared for the poorest of the poor. Her name became well known, and many would come to her and beg for help. She was determined not to turn any person away. She sheltered people in abandoned houses. She would also go personally to search for food, water, and medical supplies. Dulce and her patients were often forced to leave their locations by the government, but Dulce never lost her determination and continued searching for shelter.

Dulce asked the Mother Superior of her convent if she could use the convent’s chicken yard as a hostel for the poor. The Mother Superior agreed, and today thousands of people flock to this site, where the Santo Antonio hospital now stands. This hospital offers free medical treatment to the city’s poor, inspired by Sister Dulce. Sister Dulce also established the first Catholic workers’ organization in Bahia, a health clinic, hospitals, schools, an orphanage, and care centers.

Sister Dulce, though she herself was weak and frail, would carry children and beggars in her arms to help when she found them abandoned on the streets. Dulce died in 1992. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and received personal audiences with John Paul II. Her organizations are still thriving to this day, and John Paul II called her work “an example for humanity.”