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Ayahuasca (Santo Daime)

spiritual leadership

Master Irineu (1930-1971)

Pd. Sebastião (1971-1990)

Pd. Alfredo (1990-present)

Padrinho Sebastião

Sebastião Mota de Melo (1920-1990), one of the direct disciples of Master Irineu, continued his master’s work. Listening very well to what nature told him, and knowing that it was his mission to bring the Santo Daime to the whole country, he created a community deep into the rainforest, from where he would lead the expansion of the doctrine to the cities of Brazil.


Sebastião Mota de Melo organized his followers into a communitarian experience to further develop the ideals of Master Irineu: the equality of men and perfection in work, meditation and reverence for nature. By 1975, the group around Sebastião Mota de Melo and Rita Gregório had grown to a spiritual community known as 'Colónia Cinco Mil' (colony five thousand), set up on the outskirts of Rio Branco, composed of 45 families. The families that were previously formed mostly by peasants and rubber latex workers from the Amazon region, also began to receive middle class people, intellectuals, and artists. The charisma and reliance of Padrinho Sebastião on the spiritual dimension and the doctrine led him to guide a group through the accomplishment of a communal project founded on the simple teachings disclosed by the hymns, suggesting to turn back to nature and reminding his brothers and sisters the simple values of the community and down-to-earth ecological consciousness.

Céu do Mapiá

Sebastião began to have visions in which the rainforest called him to leave the city and settle back in the forest. Padrinho Sebastião, as his many godchildren began to call him, opened the way into the forest, and, after some initial ventures, founded the city of 'Céu do Mapiá' (Heaven of Mapiá) in the state of the Amazonas, located two days away from the nearest village by canoe. Céu do Mapiá began to be visited by Brazilian and foreign followers, having become an outstanding place of pilgrimage. With about 700 inhabitants living an ecologically-aware lifestyle, and a great floating population of visitors, it faces today the challenge of getting ready to play its role as the worldwide headquarters for a spiritual mission whose high quality is widely recognized. The community's home was safeguarded in 1989 by a decision of the Brazilian government to create a National Forest in the rainforest surrounding Céu de Mapiá, and they form the center of one and a half million acre protected reserve. The village is now considered a model of rainforest preservation through the practice of a sustainable economy.

Mestre Fundador

In 1991, Padrinho Sebastião returned to the spiritual dimension, and passed the leadership of the Santo Daime religion to one of his sons, Alfredo Gregório de Melo. Padrinho Sebastião is now refered to as the 'Mestre Fundador' (master founder), for having founded the model of communitarian life within the Santo Daime doctrine. The beloved Madrinha Rita is still living in Cțu do Mapiá, together with her children and grandchildren, protecting the precious work of Padrinho Sebastião, and welcoming visitors of countries from all over the world.

South-America (1971-1990)

Padrinho Sebastião created a community deep into the rainforest, from where he would lead the expansion of the doctrine to the cities of Brazil.

Hinário of Padrinho Sebastião

'O Justiceiro' (156 hymns)
'Nova Jerusalém' (26 hymns)

Photos of Padrinho Sebastião

Pd. Sebastião and Md. Rita with residents of Céu do Mapiá.
Pd. Sebastião listened very carefully to what nature told him.
Pd. Sebastião amongst brothers and sisters in Céu do Mapiá.
Pd. Sebastião with Md. Rita.
Pd. Sebastião with Md. Rita.
An illustration of Pd. Sebastião by Guta.