Sister Dorothy Stang—'Martyr of the Amazon'

We commemorate the death of Sister Dorothy Stang—"Martyr of the Amazon."

Sister Dorothy was born in the United States, but moved to live with the poor in rural Brazil.

It was there that Sister Dorothy witnessed first-hand ranchers and loggers:

  • Exploiting farmers and indigenous people
  • Stealing land
  • Cutting down forests, and
  • Murdering those who spoke up

Sister Dorothy courageously spoke up herself. Over several decades, she pushed for protection of Brazil’s rural poor—especially those in the Amazon.

Sister Dorothy Stang chose to live in extreme poverty in order to help others living in poverty. She had a passion for people of all cultures, for social justice, peacemaking, fairness and respect for the environment.
Read more about the Amazing Grace of Sister Dorothy

Because of her work for justice, she was named to a death list and eventually murdered.

Here is how her Sisters tell the story:

“On February 12, 2005, on a dirt road at the Boa Esperanca settlement in a rural area in Para, two hired gunmen fired six shots and killed Sister Dorothy . . . As the gunmen approached Sister Dorothy, she took her Bible from her bag and began to read the Beatitudes: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice.”

On January 10, 2025, to mark the 20th anniversary of Sister Dorothy's martyrdom, Sant'Egidio will honor Sister Dorothy with a ceremony in the Church of San Bartolomeo all’Isola in Rome, Italy.