September is always a special month for the Church in Brazil. In 1971, the Diocese of Belo Horizonte, in the southeastern part of the country, asked the help of the Daughters of St. Paul to organize a singular initiative: that of dedicating an entire month to the promotion of the Bible. (One of the reasons for choosing the month of September is that the Feast of St. Jerome, one of the greatest biblical scholars in the history of the Catholic Church, falls on Sept. 30.)
At the end of the initiative, the FSPs continued to promote and hold an annual “Bible Month” through their Bible Animation Service (BAS). Gradually other dioceses around the country and then Brazil’s National Bishops’ Conference began to support and participate in the event and September was officially declared “The Month of the Word of God.”
Today, a team of biblical scholars and representatives of various Bible study and research groups meets each year to select a specific text for deeper reflection during Bible Month. Based on this common theme, each Catholic publishing house then produces a basic text on which local parishes and study groups focus their animations.
The Daughters of St. Paul, with the collaboration of their young people in formation and cooperators, hold meetings and lectures each year on the chosen theme in their Pauline book centers, as well as encounters on the diocesan and parochial levels, using the Word of God as their basic text. The FSP biblical sector (BAS) sees to it that the content of these animations is also available online.
This year, to celebrate the golden anniversary of Bible Month, the theme chosen was: “Open your hand to your poor and needy neighbors” (cf. Dt 15:11). Currently, in addition to Brazil, several other countries in Latin America and also in Africa now celebrate Bible Month every September.