Pope Francis has spoken of his four “dreams” for the Amazon region in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia.
The final document of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region, who met in Rome from October 6 to 27 last year, has also been published.
“The beloved Amazon region stands before the world in all its splendour, its drama and its mystery,” says exhortation, which is addressed to the whole world.
“May God grant that the entire Church be enriched and challenged by the work of the synodal assembly. May the pastors, consecrated men and women and lay faithful of the Amazon region strive to apply it.
“I am addressing the present Exhortation to the whole world. I am doing so to help awaken their affection and concern for that land which is also ‘ours’.
“Everything that the Church has to offer must become incarnate in a distinctive way in each part of the world.
“I dream of an Amazon region that fights for the rights of the poor, the original peoples and the least of our brothers and sisters, where their voices can be heard and their dignity advanced.
“I dream of an Amazon region that can preserve its distinctive cultural riches, where the beauty of our humanity shines forth in so many varied ways.
“I dream of an Amazon region that can jealously preserve its overwhelming natural beauty and the superabundant life teeming in its rivers and forests.
“I dream of Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the Amazon region, and giving the Church new faces with Amazonian features.”
Pope Francis then outlines in detail his social, cultural, ecological and ecclesial dreams for the region.
The Holy Father concludes the document by turning to Mary, who he says reveals herself in the Amazon region in distinct ways, with the following prayer.
Mother of life,
in your maternal womb Jesus took flesh,
the Lord of all that exists.
Risen, he transfigured you by his light
and made you the Queen of all creation.
For that reason, we ask you, Mary, to reign
in the beating heart of Amazonia.
Show yourself the Mother of all creatures,
in the beauty of the flowers, the rivers,
the great river that courses through it
and all the life pulsing in its forests.
Tenderly care for this explosion of beauty.
Ask Jesus to pour out all his love
on the men and women who dwell there,
that they may know how to appreciate and care for it.
Bring your Son to birth in their hearts,
so that he can shine forth in the Amazon region,
in its peoples and in its cultures,
by the light of his word,
by his consoling love,
by his message of fraternity and justice.
And at every Eucharist,
may all this awe and wonder be lifted up
to the glory of the Father.
Mother, look upon the poor of the Amazon region,
for their home is being destroyed by petty interests.
How much pain and misery,
how much neglect and abuse there is
in this blessed land
overflowing with life!
Touch the hearts of the powerful,
for, even though we sense that the hour is late,
you call us to save what is still alive.
Mother whose heart is pierced,
who yourself suffer in your mistreated sons and daughters,
and in the wounds inflicted on nature,
reign in the Amazon,
together with your Son.
Reign so that no one else can claim lordship
over the handiwork of God.
We trust in you, Mother of life.
Do not abandon us
in this dark hour.
Copies of a handwritten note from Pope Francis have been sent to Bishop Terry and bishops throughout the world.
It reads: “I am sending you the Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonia. I hope that it will help promote new life in the Amazon, in your own diocese and throughout the world. Please don’t forget to pray for me.”
Pope Francis is encouraging the faithful to read both the exhortation and the final document of the synod in full.
They are available on the Vatican website, vatican.va.