There is a hidden gem in Brazil called Ouro Preto. It is a small city, but it serves as a beautiful example of how grace can move souls to fashion a harmonic, healthy and thoroughly Catholic society.
This city is built upon abundant natural resources. It is rich in minerals and precious metals, especially gold. Understandably, thousands of people soon populated the town in search of riches. In the eighteenth century, it had over 100,000 inhabitants. By the action of grace, this natural wealth did not lead to the massive corruption of its citizens. Virtue elevated the city and people of Ouro Preto.
Providence favored the city with many blessings, which resulted in a religious, sacral and harmonious society. Great artists like Aleijadinho (Antonio Francisco Lisboa) created masterpieces using the wealth and materials of the surrounding countryside. Thus, the city has many churches, artworks and monuments that serve as reminders to practice virtue and overcome the weakness of fallen nature.
The works of art were done with great skill and temperate pace, favoring quality without frenzy. To this day, the city’s small shops still sell handcrafted figurines. Thus, beautiful churches, shrines and crafts foster the virtues needed for society to prosper. They attracted the graces to lead people to sanctity.
One finds Saint Benedict’s harmonious combination of work and prayer. It was reflected by the devotion inspired by the arts and the labor of those working in the nearby mines. Providence built upon a firm foundation to favor this grace-filled city to achieve remarkable economic prosperity, harmony, and general well-being.
Photo Credit: © Maarten Zeehandelaar – stock.adobe.com