On the occasion of the Wednesday General Audience, in St. Peter’s Square this November 27, 2019, Pope Francis had the new Brazilian Blessed, Father Donizetti Tavares de Lima, applauded.
The Holy Father mentioned the event, saying: “Last Saturday, at Tambau, Brazil, the priest Donizetti Tavares de Lima was proclaimed Blessed, a Pastor totally devoted to his people, witness of evangelical charity and courageous defender of the poor.”
The Pontiff encouraged “the priests, the consecrated persons, but also the lay faithful” to be inspired by his “witness of the faith” and by the “coherence of life choices inspired in the Gospel.”
Last April 6, Pope Francis approved a decree of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, recognizing a miracle obtained by the prayer of the Brazilian priest.
Donizetti Tavares de Lima was born in Cassia on January 3, 1882, to a family with nine children, which then moved to the city of Franca. He began, at 15, to follow a preparatory course in the Episcopal Seminary of Sao Paulo. Then he studied at the college of Sorocaba, returning in 1900 to the Seminary. He was ordained a priest at Pouso Alegre on July 12, 1908.
After his Ordination, he worked in several parishes of Pouso Alegre and at Vargem Grande do Sul, before being appointed parish priest of Saint Anthony’s at Tambau (May 24, 1926).
“Father Donizetti had an austere life, no luxury, no refinement,” wrote Jose Wagner Azevedo in his book “Father Donizetti of Tambau.” His aspiration was to serve God above all. He had total zeal for children and the elderly; however, he welcomed all without distinctions.”
At Tambau, Father Donizetti founded a day nursery, a Children’s Home, looked after workers and created a Home for the Elderly.
He had great devotion to Our Lady of Aparecida, whose image is in the parish of Saint Anthony at Tambau. In 1919 a fire destroyed all the contents of the church, but the image of Our Lady of Aparecida remained intact.
Numerous healings were attributed in the ’50s to Father Donizetti’s blessing. The church where he celebrated could no longer accommodate all those that came to see him and listen to him; therefore, a platform was set up in front of the parish house to address the faithful.
He worked in Tambau for 35 years until his death, at 79, on June 16, 1961, following cardiac complications and diabetes. Numerous healings and testimonies of the faithful have been reported since his death.