(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is in Paraguay on the last leg of his Apostolic visit to Latin America which has taken him to Ecuador where he began his visit on the 5th of July and to Bolivia. It has been a joyful homecoming for this Latin American Pontiff but now he's reached Paraguay he’s closer to home than he’s ever been as Linda Bordoni tells us in this report. One which focuses on the admiration of Pope Francis for the women of Paraguay whom he referred to upon his arrival in this nation with these words: " As mothers, wives and widows they shouldered the heaviest burdens; they found a way to move their families and their country forward, instilling in new generations the hope of a better tommorrow". Admiration, as Linda tells us he'd already expressed in 2013.
Listen to Linda Bordoni's report from Asunciòn by the title of : "Pope Francis and the 'glorious ' women of Paraguay":
During the flight back from Brazil’s World Youth Day in July 2013, Pope Francis spoke with respect and admiration of the women of Paraguay.
To journalists on board the Papal plane he said “For me, the Paraguayan woman is the most glorious of Latin America. After the war – he continued - there were eight women for every man, and these women made a rather difficult choice: the choice of having children to save the homeland, the culture, the faith and the language”.
He was referring to the catastrophic 19th century war against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay that all but wiped out the entire male Paraguayan population.
The women of Paraguay continue to bear those words of his in their minds, and are proud of the legacy they have inherited and the special place Pope Francis has for them in his heart.
Add to that, the fact that Pope Francis knows Paraguayan women well as so many have migrated to Argentina in search of employment.
His own housekeeper and cook, when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires was Paraguayan, and through her he learnt to appreciate the simple but tasty local cuisine which he has expressly asked to partake of during his stay at the Nunciature in Asuncion.
The truth is, he is well aware of the fundamental role women continue to play in a poor rural society such as this, and of how they continue to bear much of the responsibility of safeguarding the homeland, the culture, the faith and the language as mothers, farmers and educators trying hard to conserve and protect the values of national heritage in the face of global change.