SAO PAULO, Brazil — To the soundtrack of the official hymn of Recife’s Galo da Madrugada, said to be the largest carnival block in the world, Franciscans from five convents in northeastern Brazil dance to a typical Brazilian rhythm known as the frevo with one request: “Fique em Casa” (Stay Home).
“I was thinking of a way to make people aware. I thought of creating something that would be joyful, festive, because as Franciscans (we) have the characteristic of the joy that is proper to Franciscan life,” Franciscan Brother Flavio Lorrane Clementino de Almeida told Catholic News Service.
“It needed to be something different from what the media was showing. I wanted to convey that, despite the tense moment, we need to be calm,” he said.
“First, I thought about making a video on my own, but then I decided to invite the younger brothers in our province to make this video,” he said, adding that all the friars taped their part of the video and sent them to a friar who edited and finalized the video.
The video received thousands of “shares” in WhatsApp groups and other social media channels and was also reproduced in religious websites. Although it was generally praised, there were some who criticized the effort.
“We received some criticism from people saying that there are a lot of people getting sick and dying and that we shouldn’t be playing, dancing. Our mission as religious is to show the joy that comes from God; it is a sign of hope. To experience these moments, we need hope. The intention (of the video) is to bring hope to others,” said Lorrane.
The Portuguese lyrics encourage people to enjoy bonding with the family and encourage proper hand-washing. “Listen to the radio, watch TV; there are many options to laugh and pray,” it also says.