Pope Francis expressed his admiration for the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo this week, with a voice message celebrating the Mothers’ 41st anniversary.
“Dear Ana, today we remember that April 30 in 77, the anniversary of the Mothers”, the message begins.
“I remember your mother, who worked so much, who was a fighter and who alongside so many women fought for justice or because they had lost their child”, he added.
The message was delivered to Ana María Careaga, the daughter of Esther Ballestrino de Careaga, one of the three original Mothers of Plaza de Mayo who were kidnapped and disappeared by a Navy deathsquad in December 1977.
The Mothers “taught us the path we must follow”, Francis declares, in a voice message played on Careaga's weekly radio programme Ahora y siempre, on Radio Caput.
The Pope knew Ballestrino de Careaga personally when she was his superior in the late 1960s at a laboratory in Buenos Aires.
“I pray for the mothers, I pray for you, I pray for Esther”, Francisco says. “I pray for the good men and women who wish to embark on a path of justice and fraternity”, he adds.
In an interview with the Times in January, Careaga celebrated the Pope's leadership of the Church.
“He has a strong position about the redistribution of wealth which is in line with demands for human rights and access to more rights”, she said. “It also signifies a significant step away from the traditional discourse of the Vatican and its popes”.