On our first Monday here in Brasil, we had a free day before the CrAzInEsS of the Semana de Musica Sacra began on Tuesday. Because we had a couple new friends with us who could only be down here for a week, we took advantage of our free time to allow them to see Juazeiro de Norte. Specifically, Uncle Jim wanted to take them to the statue of Padre Cicero in Juazeiro.
This was my second time to the statue because I visited it back in 2013. On my other blog, you can read about my experience there in 2013: http://www.instrument4christ.com/blog/day-38-sad-day/
Juazeiro de Norte owes a lot of its existence to Padre Cicero, but unfortunately, many people also owe their eternal destinies to their idolization of this man. Padre Cicero, although he was a great humanitarian and a religious leader among the people, did not lead people to a saving knowledge of God. Like any other man, he died and was buried. Like any other man, he is still dead. The only exception to that rule was Jesus, and He is the only one who offers true hope. Today Padre Cicero is revered by many as a god, part of the Holy Trinity with God the Father and Mary. But he’s only a dead man! He literally can’t do anything to help anyone!
It’s so sad to see the emptiness of his followers as they seek for a hope they will never find. Dead men can’t save. Nevertheless, these faithful followers will visit his statue, visit his home, pray to him, and make promises to him. Room after room in Padre Cicero’s house is filled with relics of people who have asked him for healing. Included at the end of this post are lots of pictures from inside the house of Padre Cicero.
Looking at everything really makes me reflect though- how devoted am I to Christ? How faithful am I to a living God? Many of these people pour so much time and energy into someone who is already suffering in eternity, yet how much time do I give to the One who created every other religious leader that has ever lived and died? Unlike rest of them, my hope is alive!
Chapel inside Padre Cicero’s home – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA