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Tonio de Mello and one of his many sonsJesus Menino

Help Tonio provide for his 44 disabled children in Brazil:

PETROPOLIS, Brazil (LifeSiteNews) – A Brazilian adoptive father of 44 disabled children has expressed his gratitude to LifeSiteNews readers who, last year, supported his remarkable family with the considerable expenses involved in caring for so many people in need. 

Many of Tonio de Mello’s children at the Jesus Menino (Boy Jesus) community were abandoned at birth or are the survivors of failed abortions, while others would have been aborted were it not for Tonio’s assistance to women in crisis pregnancies.   

LifeSiteNews’ Tim Jackson was able to meet some of the adoptees, young and old, whom Tonio and his helpers care for when he visited the Jesus Menino community in Petropolis, a city just north of Rio de Janeiro.  


So far, the children have been supported to the tune of almost $60,000 by LifeSiteNews readers on since last December, but Tonio still needs to raise $51,000 more to meet his goal and provide food, education, and healthcare for the 44 disabled adoptees over the coming months.  

“It started in 1990 when Alexander, the first son of the community – I went to visit the house he lived in, which was a house with 200 boys with disabilities – and Alexander, then he tells me: ‘Man, do you want to be my father?'” Tonio told LifeSiteNews.  

“He took my heart. At that time, I became a son of God,” he continued. “God embraced me and there I discovered my vocation to be the father not only of Alexander but a father to all the reality that I live today.” 

One of the children to whom Tonio introduced LifeSiteNews is Jean, who was born without a skull or brain, but miraculously continues to live at ten years of age, despite Tonio being told he would die within months after birth.  

“He is the only living boy at this age with anencephaly,” Tonio said. “God wants him to live. He is an instrument in the hands of God.” 

Cleiton, whom LifeSiteNews also met, was brain dead following a motorcycle accident, with doctors insisting he would never wake up, but Tonio’s visit to his hospital bed changed his life forever.  

“I came close to his [Cleiton’s] ear, and I said to God: ‘Lord, if you want that boy to wake up for Your glory, Cleiton, wake up!'” Tonio explained. 

“Then I asked him [Cleiton]: ‘Are you listening to me?'” Tonio continued.   

Cleiton miraculously answered by moving his finger in reply, confirming to Tonio that he was indeed alive.  

Cleiton attributes his life to God working a miracle through Tonio, “turning water into wine” for him. 

“I was nobody, today I am [somebody]. He gave me everything, my life again, because I had nothing, no life,” Cleiton shared emotionally.  

Members of Jesus Menino community live a beautiful life of prayer and service to these disabled children, and are so grateful for the ways in which LifeSiteNews readers have responded to their needs to date.  

“You all helped us a lot to pay employee accounts, to buy food, to buy medicine, and to do some work on buildings that needed it,” Tonio explained. 

“It was a very big help, and I want to thank all the members of LifeSiteNews, the directors of LifeSiteNews and all the readers,” he continued. “Where you are, you’re saving lives with me.” 

Tonio is in the difficult position of having to continuously provide for all his adopted children, made even more challenging by the inflation affecting Brazil, but he trusts that God is taking care of everything.  

If you wish to contribute to Tonio’s family at the Jesus Menino community, please visit