Antonio de Mello, a Catholic man who cares for dozens of disabled children spared from abortion, will share his pro-life testimony to Americans from across the country at the March for Life this month.
By Jean Mondoro – January 8, 2024 – Published in LifeSiteNews.com
A Brazilian man who adopted 46 disabled children – many of whom were consequently saved from abortion – will be one of the pro-life speakers at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Antonio (Tonio) de Mello, a Catholic man who generously adopted dozens of disabled children and cares for them in a faith-based community, will share his pro-life testimony to Americans from across the nation who gather at the nation’s capital later this month.
The 51st annual March for Life – and the second since the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade – will take place on Friday, January 19, in Washington, D.C. The theme of this year’s event is “With Every Woman, For Every Child.”
De Mello founded the Jesus Menino (Child Jesus) Disabled Community in 1990 upon the shocking realization that many Brazilian orphans suffering from disabilities were subjected to terrible living conditions. He has adopted over 40 of the over 100 residents at the faith-based community, founded to serve children and adults living with disabilities after being spared from abortion.
In 2019, de Mello told LifeSiteNews that he was able to launch the community and maintain it “because this strength comes from God” and that “if it wasn’t for this perfect love of God’s trust in me, I couldn’t do it.” At that time, he had adopted 42 children.
Nestor Forster, Jr., a Brazilian ambassador to the United States, has endorsed the community and de Mello’s work as an “embassy of heaven on earth,” adding that “it doesn’t get more pro-life than what Tonio does.”
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, many of de Mello’s adopted children were abandoned at birth or are survivors of attempted abortions. Others would have been killed in their mothers’ wombs had de Mello not offered to assist women facing unplanned pregnancies. In 2021, LifeSiteNews readers donated more than $50,000 to the Jesus Menino community to provide education, food, and medical care for its residents.
Beginning in October 2022, a second LifeFunder was launched with the goal of providing continued support to the community. De Mello emphasized in a November 16, 2023, update to the fundraiser that the community has been operating for 33 years as an independent organization “recognized by the Church and by public authorities” in Brazil. He appealed for additional charitable donations to continue the ministry, since it runs “without having any agreements with any public or private organization.”
In addition to food, clothing, diapers, and health supplies, the LifeFunder will help offset costs to pay for electric and home renovation expenses. The fundraiser has gathered $94,605 out of its $126,490 goal. Those interested in contributing to the ongoing LifeFunder can do so here.
A full list of events, including the March for Life Expo, the Law of Life Summit, the pre-March rally, and the National Pro-Life Summit, as well as times and locations, has been compiled here by LifeSiteNews.