An homage to Paiva Netto, President of the Legion of Good Will
Foto: Daniel Trevisan
Annually, the International Forum of the Legion of Good Will´s Militant Youth takes place, bringing together participants from several parts of the world, to conclude the activities conducted throughout the year. This Militancy began on September 1961, when, from the suggestion by Paiva Netto to the late founder of the LGW, Alziro Zarur.
On June 29, 2011 (a day dedicated to the Legionnaire Youth of the Good Will of God), we celebrate 56 years of Paiva Netto’s work at the Legion of Good Will, an important date representing more than just a good example. It is an event that inspires current and future generations, because during all this time he never gave up on his ideals, remaining determined in his commitment.
In completing 56 years of relevant services rendered to Humankind and 71 years of life, a phase of existence when most only reap the fruits of the past, Paiva Netto feels and acts as if he has a world to conquer, with a tireless spirit of one who always does Good in favor of others.
The Ecumenical Ideal presented by the late founder of the LGW, Alziro Zarur, thrills Paiva Netto from an early age.
This ideal of militancy, which he carried since very young (by showing himself concerned about uncommon and philosophical themes), gained even more strength thanks to an important episode that occurred at the beginning of the 1950s. Paiva Netto recalls the memorable date in details: “In Rio de Janeiro in 1953, when I was only 12 years old, I received from the hands of a beautiful black lady a pamphlet published by the LGW”.
He continues: “Three years passed and, on a certain morning, I woke up with a strong desire to turn on the radio. When I did that, I heard on Tamoio Radio [later it became Mundial Radio] Joseph Möhr (1792-1848) and Franz Grüber’s (1787-1863) touching composition Silent Night. It was June 29, 1956. Intrigued, I exclaimed: Mother, Christmas song in June?! Soon afterwards, Zarur began to read a passage from the Gospel of Jesus according to Luke (2:14), in which the Angels announce His Celestial Birth: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and Peace on Earth to Men of Goodwill!’. After hearing his words, I resolutely said: Mom, I like this man’s speech! I will follow him! My heart had been awakened to this Sublime Ideal. And, on that same day, on which a tribute is paid to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, I took my bicycle and I went out to the streets to voluntarily ask for help for the LGW.”
Because of this attitude (and so many others that he led after that day), June 29 came to be known as the Youth of the Good Will of God Day.