By Orson Peter Carrara

Emmanuel represents
a watershed
in Spiritism 

Flávio Antonio Catalano (photo), is a journalist and teacher, with a Master degree in Italian Literature. He lives in the Brazilian city of Ibitinga, in the state of São Paulo, where he is a public speaker and volunteer worker at the Francisco de Assis Amor e Caridade (Francis of Assisi Love and Charity) Spiritist Centre. He is well known in the Spiritist Movement for his extensive research on the work of the great Spiritual Benefactor, Emmanuel:


How did you become a Spiritist? What attracts you the most in Spiritism?

Spiritism has always been an essential part of my family, both on my mother’s and my father’s side. So I don’t remember being formally introduced to the Spiritist Teachings. What I can say is that as I became an adult, I realised that Spiritism had become a pillar in my professional and family plans. It provided me with a sense of responsibility and, most of all, a capacity to make the right choices when faced with the challenges of life. But it was in the mediumship meetings held at our Spiritist Centre that I had an opportunity to meet the Spirits who’ve made mistakes and are now in pain. That’s when I realised the purpose of my journey and understood the importance of making a concerted effort to address and correct my own flaws.  

Where does your passion for the work of the renowned Spiritual Benefactor Emmanuel come from? Based on your studies, what are the main qualities of his work?

My understanding is that Emmanuel represents a watershed in Spiritism. His importance goes well beyond his role as a Spirit who interprets the Gospel in the light of Spiritism, as we usually see him. We must understand him as a sophisticated tool provided to us by the Spirit World. I believe that the Spiritual Benefactors have placed him as a pathway to help us reach the Spiritist Teachings. I can explain: We know that Spiritism, which was codified by Kardec, went through several tests and phases, especially because Spiritists in France weren’t able to move away from the phenomena. It’s reasonable to say that hadn’t Spiritism been moved to Brazil at that stage it wouldn’t have stood the test of time, like many other schools of thought which have now been forgotten. So, the consolidation of Spiritism in its triple aspect – science, philosophy and, fundamentally, religion – only happened thanks to the success of the spiritual project carried out by Emmanuel, through the mediumship of Chico Xavier. Emmanuel has given us, Spiritists, guidelines on how to approach science, with the assistance of André Luiz, as well as philosophy and religion. My understanding is that Emmanuel has given us an efficient antidote to prevent Spiritism from pursuing a pointless journey of pure and simple scientific experimentation, which would lead to a dead end. We owe it to Emmanuel the fact that Spiritism is well established, respected and practised in Brazil. 

What would you say about his capacity to summarise complex thoughts and ideas?

As a higher conscience, Emmanuel follows a fundamental law of Spirituality: the Law of Economy. His capacity to summarise complex ideas is his trademark. It prompts us also to be fair and efficient in everything that we do. It links us to the Higher Spirits, who also follow these principles. I would like to highlight chapter 3 of his book, Obreiros da Vida Eterna (Workers of the Life Eternal), when we are introduced  to Asclépios. That’s an unforgettable lesson. Studying Emmanuel is a life project, as his work sums up a range of ancestral teachings. 

What do you consider to be the most expressive subjects in Emmanuel’s work?

I think that at the core of Emmnauel’s work is the consistent effort he has made to open our eyes to the true goal of our lives: moral development. His fundamental purpose is to help incarnated Spirits, who go through many periods of imbalance and may deviate from the right path very easily. It’s crucial for us to understand  that we are going through a perilous journey during our incarnation, where things can go wrong any time. That’s something Spiritism really focuses on. So the essence of the work of Emmanuel is a voice that warns us: Let’s not deviate from our goals! Let’s go back to our pathway! Let’s return to our objectives! All the work of Emmnauel, every message that he has dictated to Chico Xavier, published or not, can be summed up in these thoughts. It’s like a divine note that constitutes the essence of all his Spiritual Teachings. 

What books by Emmanuel would you recommend to those who want to study his work?

I believe that three of his books are essential to help us shape our behaviour according to Spiritism: Paulo e Estêvão (Paul and Stephen), O Consolador (The Consoler) and Pensamento e Vida (Thought and Life). These books sum up the efforts of the Spiritual Benefactors through Emmanuel to establish Spiritism, or the Doctrine of the Spirits, as the future of all religions. The Consoler is particularly relevant for those who are starting in Spiritism. It will help them understand the spiritual engineering involved in the construction of Spiritism in Brazil, which happened with the guidance of Emmanuel. 



Leonardo Rocha -



O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita