Year of Mercy – Rio cardinal celebrates his birthday with the homeless
Inspired by the Year of Mercy, Cardinal Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro wanted to show his personal commitment to the Pope’s initiative. He decided to celebrate his 66th birthday in a special way by spending time with a group of homeless people in his diocese.
As soon as his birthday celebration was over, the cardinal went out at night to the downtown area frequented by homeless people to celebrate his birthday with them.
The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro reported: “The cardinal offered gifts, blankets, milk and coffee, and listened to their stories.” By spending time with the homeless, the The cardinal was able “to learn up close about the reality of those who live and sleep on the streets.”
The archdiocese said the effort was a witness for the Catholic Church’s Year of Mercy and a reflection of the fourth corporal work of mercy: to clothe the naked.
Cardinal Orani Tempesta was born on 23 June 23 1950 in the town of São José de Río Pardo in the state of São Paulo. He made his final profession in the Cistercian Order in February 1969, and was ordained a priest in Dec 1974. He was ordained bishop for the Diocese of Rio Preto in 1997. He then served as Archbishop of Belém do Pará before becoming Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro in April 2009.