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The Greatest Gift: The Courageous Life and Martyrdom of Sister Dorothy Stang

The Greatest Gift: The Courageous Life and Martyrdom of Sister Dorothy Stang
Author: Binka Le Breton
ISBN 13: 9780385522182
ISBN 10: 385522185
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Doubleday Religion
Publication Date: 2008-02-05
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 256
List Price: $22.95

In 1966, Sister Dorothy Stang went to Brazil as a missionary, and in 1982 she moved to a small town in the Amazon to work with an organization to protect poor farmers and their land from loggers and land-developers who stop at nothing—including murder—in pursuit of profits. After testifying at a government panel investigating illegal incursions into protected areas, Sister Dorothy was denounced as a “terrorist” by powerful companies and began receiving death threats. Refusing to be intimidated, she continued her work—until two gunmen shot her six times on a rural Amazon road.

THE GREATEST GIFT is the first biography of this extraordinary woman and her mission. Written by a mainstream journalist who has spent many years in Brazil, it exposes the entrenched collusion between government officials and commercial interests and celebrates the profound courage of Sister Dorothy and others fighting to protect the Amazon jungles and the people eking out a life there.

Inspired by deep religious conviction, Dorothy Stang gave of herself generously. A book that will resonate with readers of Sister Helen Prejean’s Dead Man Walking, THE GREATEST GIFT presents not only the story of Sister Dorothy’s tragic death, but the powerful and beautiful lessons of her life.

Publishers Weekly

Very few religious believers are called upon to give their lives for their faith, but those individuals are often remarkably inspiring. Contemporary martyr Sister Dorothy Stang (1940-2005) was no exception. She lived a rich and full life and laid down that life for her friends. Her story is captured beautifully by British journalist Le Breton, author of Voices of the Amazon. Eighteen years after entering a convent for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Dorothy was granted her desire to serve the poor as a missionary in Brazil. Her somewhat naïve imagination about missionary life was quickly transformed by the harsh realities of the dire poverty she witnessed. During the almost 40 years she served in Brazil, Sr. Dorothy fell in love with the people and the country, and courageously aided in the struggle of poor farmers for land rights against logging and development companies. The story is heartbreaking and Le Breton's prose is gripping throughout, as she weaves in several personal narratives from Dorothy's family and close friends. These lend a gentle warmth to an account that is at times harrowing and cruel. This story deserves to be read. (Feb 5)

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